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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 06:37    Post subject: HOUSTON ?The Houston Texans are in a much different place n Reply with quote

they faced the Indianapolis Colts this season Indianapolis Colts T-Shirts , when they were 0-3 and desperate for a win.Ka’imi Fairbairn made a field goal as time expired in overtime to lead the Texans to a 37-34 victory in that game and they haven’t lost since, reeling off a franchise-record nine straight wins entering Sunday’s rematch.The Texans led 28-10 in the third quarter in that first meeting before Andrew Luck threw three second-half touchdowns to rally the Colts and set up the wild finish.The Colts failed to convert a fourth-and-4 with 24 seconds left in overtime to give Fairbairn a chance to win it.“Being up 28-10 … and then letting them come back and being down in overtime and pulling through the adversity, it kind of slingshot us to where we are now,” Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson said.聽“That was one game where we went through all types of phases and situations that put us through this nine-game win streak. It was the start of everything.”Defensive end J.J. Watt said that Sept. 30 game seems as if it was a long time ago and noted how difficult it has been for the Texans to win in Indy, where they’re just 3-14 all time.“We needed one to get started. That was the one to get us started on this streak,” Watt said. “Bit of an unorthodox way to get it, but we got it. So, here we are.”The Texans (9-3) are coming off a 29-13 win over the Cleveland Browns while the Colts (6-6) were shut out 6-0 by the Jaguars last week to end a five-game winning streak.“The Jacksonville game was tough,” Luck said. “They outplayed us. There’s not much else to say about it. As a defense against our offense, they just flat outplayed us. … We took a good look at it and we’ll improve. I know we will.”TOUCHDOWN THOMASHouston rookie tight end Jordan Thomas has a knack for scoring with four touchdown catches despite having just 14 receptions this season. His four touchdown receptions are tied with Andre Johnson for second-most TD receptions by a rookie in franchise history. The 6-foot-6, 277-pound Thomas has been a favorite target of Watson’s in the red zone; all of his scores聽have come on catches of 13 yards or less.NEW BALANCECoach Frank Reich has stressed the need to find balance since he took the Colts’ job in February.When these teams met previously, Luck set single-game franchise records with 40 completions and 62 attempts and became the 11th player in league history to throw for 450 yards and four TDs. He wound up with 464 yards, second in franchise history, and four scores.Since then, an improved ground game helped lessen the burden on Luck’s arm 鈥?until last week, when he threw 52 passes https://www.coltsfanshop.com/hats , including 14 straight during one stretch, in the loss to Jacksonville. Don’t expect the Colts to be so one-dimensional in Houston.“You never want to have to drop back and pass it 52 times,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said. “We always want to run it more. Just in that scenario, the way we were running it, we had some plays on our call sheet that we felt were going to be good to hit, some chunks in the pass game, and that’s the way we went.”THE BIG DHouston also will see a different defense.After allowing an average of 30 points over their first six games, the Colts cut that number to 16.8 points over the past six. Indy is the only team to have forced at least one turnover in every game this season and is second in the league in tackles for loss (71.0). Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard leads the league in tackles (122) and is tied for fourth in forced fumbles (four).First-year defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus sees it as a good start.“We feel we have set the standard of how we want to play in terms of the style. Now we just need to execute on a consistent basis and just keep doing that week in and week out,” he said. “There are a lot of things that we have to improve on, but we have come a long way.”DEANDRE’S ARTOn a TV show this week, Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis said the way DeAndre Hopkins catches a football “is an art.” The Houston star agrees.“There’s more to it than just going out and catching a football,” he said. “There’s a lot of factors that go on before that. It’s for sure an art, and repetition makes perfect.”Hopkins routinely makes nearly impossible catches look run of the mill, and Watson has said he believes Hopkins will catch anything聽thrown his way. His latest nifty catch came last week against the Browns on a 24-yard reception near the sideline that came after T.J. Carrie grabbed his dreadlocks to try聽to slow him down.Hopkins knows that he makes it look easy, but wanted to make clear that it is not.“It’s harder than people think,” he said. “Especially like me Indianapolis Colts Hoodie , I usually have a defender on me or close to me, so catching the football isn’t easy for me like it is for some people who are wide open. It’s a challenge for me to play through that and still catch it.”100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta INDIANAPOLIS 鈥?Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces a different challenge Sunday.Yes, he’s up against a young defense that is pressuring quarterbacks, forcing turnovers and improving by the week. Sure, he hopes to end the league’s longest losing streak by giving the winless Texans their first victory since November.While Watson won a lot in college and even as an NFL rookie, now he must figure out a solution to the Texans’ woes.“If the tables are turned and we’re 3-0, you wouldn’t really be talking about the little details, you would kind of continue to do the same thing,” Watson said. “Once you start losing and you really want to find out what the problem is, it’s the little things.”The norms have been out of whack for both teams lately.Houston’s trademark defense actually ranks behind the Colts in many key categories, while Indy’s traditionally strong offense has lacked big plays and late-game magic. The AFC South’s two perennial powers are seeking solutions in a competitive division led by Jacksonville and Tennessee.“It’s about better execution, more consistency,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “Whenever you look 鈥?any team goes through the same thing when you have a day that is subpar.”Houston (0-3) has had plenty of bad days in its nine-game skid, which includes back-to-back losses to an Indy team without Andrew Luck last season. So have the Colts (1-2), who missed the playoffs each of the past three seasons and are still trying to rediscover their offensive groove as Luck closes out his first month since returning from major shoulder surgery.But the only real cure is a win 鈥?and both desperately need one.“We’ve got to get better, bottom-line business https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Le_Raven-Clark-Jersey ,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “We have to win. We all understand that. (Team owner) Bob (McNair) has made it very clear to me that we need to improve.”BACKUP PLANWhen the Colts hired Reich in February, he joked that he did his best work as a No. 2 option.This week he was reminded of one of his best games 鈥?engineering the largest comeback in NFL history with the Buffalo Bills. Even though it happened in January 1993 against a different franchise (the Houston Oilers), Reich still cherishes the comeback.“It was a great memory, a great memory for the people in Buffalo, anyway,” he said on a conference call with Houston reporters this week. “You get some breaks, it all works together, and you did something special that you all share together. Over the years, it’s been really fun. Still, quite often, people stop me, call me, all over. So, that’s fun.”PASSING FANCYWatson has thrown for 300 yards in back-to-back games, the first time a Houston quarterback has done that since 2012. He’s not the only one relishing this week’s matchup.In nine career games against the Colts, All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 48 career receptions for 648 yards. Both numbers are in his top three against an opponent.Meanwhile Khari Willis Jersey , Will Fuller has caught a TD pass from Watson in seven straight games when they’ve played together.RECORD WATCHColts kicker Adam Vinatieri needs one field goal to break Morten Andersen’s career record (565) 鈥?just a short drive away from Andersen’s high school alma mater, Ben Davis. That’s not all.Vinatieri needs three field goal attempts to pass Gary Anderson (672) for second on the NFL’s career list; 34 points to break Andersen’s career scoring record (2,544 points); and one game played to pass George Blanda (341) for fourth in career games played.JACKSON TRIBUTEThe Indianapolis Colts will honor the late Edwin Jackson with a helmet decal. Colts coaches will wear a similar lapel pin.Team officials also will present a $25,000 donation to the Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation, which was formed following Jackson’s death earlier this year. There will be a video tribute and a special game program, too.Jackson made the team as an undrafted rookie in 2015 and played three seasons in Indy before being killed in a February traffic accident. Jeffrey Monroe, Jackson’s Uber driver, also died in the accident.“He was a happy, happy, happy man. He was a joy to be around,” Luck said. “I think a lot of guys that know him in this locker room keep him alive in their heads and in their souls. I certainly find myself thinking about him at different times, and he was such a positive member of this team.”100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta
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