Indianapolis Colts: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 10

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Indianapolis Colts: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 10
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts came back from 18 down to defeat the Houston Texans on Sunday night, moving to 6-2 in the process.

The Colts got a valuable win for the win column, but more importantly won a game on the road against a dangerous division rival to take control of the AFC South and keep pace with New England and Cincinnati for the No. 2 seed. 

How did the Colts pull off the comeback? It was a mix of T.Y. Hilton and defense in the second half, mixed with Andrew Luck's complete role and performance reversal. From a Houston perspective, poor play-calling and the loss of Gary Kubiak at halftime had major implications on the loss. 

On the field, it's hard to argue that any player had as big of an impact as T.Y. Hilton did in the win. Andre Johnson had a huge game, but was bottled up in the second half. Hilton, on the other hand, became a focal point. 

It's not the first time that Hilton has killed the Texans. In fact, in his short career, no other player has done more damage to Houston. 

T.Y. Hilton vs. Houston
Game Receptions Yards Touchdowns Long
Week 15, 2012 @ Houston 3 78 1 61
Week 17, 2012 @ Indianapolis 4 111 1 70
Week 9, 2013 @ Houston 7 121 3 58

Pro-Football-Reference.com

Since Hilton entered the league in 2012, no other player has more all-purpose yards (Hilton has 381) or touchdowns (5) against Houston. 

So yes, he can officially be called the Texan killer. 

 

Division Standings

AFC South Division Standings
Team Wins Losses Point Differential
Indianapolis 6 2 +59
Tennessee 4 4 +6
Houston 2 6 -75
Jacksonville 0 8 -178

ESPN.com

The Colts' win over Houston effectively put the boot on the Texans' neck, all but ending their chances at a third straight divisional title. Houston is still talented and will win a few games this year, but they won't win the division. Case Keenum does give the Texans a necessary spark at quarterback, and it will be fascinating to see what that leads to over the next few weeks. 

The Tennessee Titans stayed within striking distance of Indianapolis with a 28-21 win over the St. Louis Rams this week. Tennessee scored 14 fourth-quarter points and Chris Johnson returned with 150 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars stood pat this week with a bye. 

 

Injury Report

Week 10 Injury Report
Player Position Injury Status
Josh Gordy DB Groin Day-to-day
Delano Howell S Neck Day-to-day
Cam Johnson OLB Knee Day-to-day
Greg Toler CB Groin Day-to-day
Josh Chapman NT Knee Day-to-day

Colts.com

The Colts emerged from their battle with the Texans largely unscathed

Darrius Heyward-Bey left the game early to get checked for a concussion, but he has reportedly lucked out in that department and is fine. 

 

What Needs to Improve

The Colts got out to a slow start again on Sunday, continuing their trend of playing down (or up) to their competition. 

While this has been fine for the Colts in the regular season, the Colts will need to win a few games in the regular-season slate that violate that policy. 

A fourth-quarter comeback looks great on Andrew Luck's stat reel, but the Colts have to be able to defeat inferior teams at times this season. This game itself can be overlooked for Indianapolis. Houston is a division rival whose talent is greater than its current record. But if this trend continues, the Colts could very well see their promising season get derailed. 

Bob Levey/Getty Images

We'll dive into this other thing later this week: the interior offensive line. The Colts tackles performed admirably this past week, but the other three offensive linemen continue to bog the Colts down.

It's not that they don't have talent, because they've performed well in spots. Just look at Sunday night's game as an example. The Colts managed to run for nearly five yards per carry. It's all dependent on how the players are used. At times, the Colts will run plays that make it seem like they think much more highly of the interior offensive line than most analysts do. 

I'll be breaking down their performances on Wednesday, but for now, just know that they are the Colts' biggest weakness and must improve for the Colts to have a legitimate shot at a championship. 

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