The Texans and Colts have, at times, played terrible football this season.
It doesn’t matter. Whoever wins Sunday’s meeting will have a strong grip on the AFC South lead (and a home playoff game) with just two weeks left. Injuries have hit both teams, and both starting quarterbacks are unavailable. T.J. Yates will start for the Texans, while Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst have both taken practice reps this week for the Colts.
Here’s everything you need to know about the AFC matchup:
Date: Sunday, December 20, 2015
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
TV Channel: Locally broadcast on CBS with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green on the call. Click here to check and see if you’re within the game’s coverage zone.
Line: Indianapolis -2 via OddsShark.com
No teams this close to playoff contention have had bigger problems at quarterback this season.
The Texans’ problems date all the way back to training camp, when it was a toss-up between Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. Mallett settled the debate himself, and Hoyer had developed into a good rhythm under center. Now they’ll rely on T.J. Yates, who has played sparingly in his NFL career but has been a serviceable backup. Yates won’t be running the full Texans playbook, but he’s a smart quarterback who doesn’t make mistakes. In his three games played, Yates has 47 pass attempts without an interception.
The Colts have had, for lack of a better phrase, bad luck. it starts with Andrew Luck, who didn’t play well early in the season and struggled through minor injuries. Minor injuries turned into major ones, and now Luck won’t return until he’s 100 percent recovered from injured ribs and a lacerated kidney.
Matt Hasselbeck won his first four starts after Luck was shut down, but his age is starting to show. He’s one tough 40 year old, but is also dealing with a rib injury and didn’t take 100 percent of first-team practice reps. If Hasselbeck has an unfortunate meeting with J.J. Watt on Sunday, the Colts playoff hopes may rest on the third-string shoulders of Charlie Whitehurst.