Today’s early NFL Sunday Football games are highlighted by the return of head coach Chuck Pagano to the Indianapolis Colts after he missed most of the season while fighting leukemia. His Colts will take on the 12-3 Houston Texans, a team once marching toward home-field advantage throughout the playoffs that now needs a win to achieve the AFC’s top record in the regular season’s final weekend of games.
An alternate scenario that will grant the Texans home-field advantage in the playoffs are losses by the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. Both of those teams are expected to win today, especially the Broncos against the Kansas City Chiefs, so the best route to home-field advantage for the Texans is to simply beat the Colts today.
The Texans most recent victory was ironically against these same Colts two weeks ago. However, that win was surrounded by a pair of blowout losses to the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. The Texans need a win today not only to score home-field advantage, but to get back on track heading into the playoffs.
The Colts are also looking to get back on track and will do so behind coach Chuck Pagano. They narrowly beat the lowly Chiefs last week and need to establish some sort of rhythm heading into the playoffs. The Texans will provide a challenge for Pagano’s Colts, especially quarterback Andrew Luck.
While Luck was able to engineer another late touchdown drive to finally beat the Chiefs last week, their defense will have to face the one-two punch of Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. Foster left the third quarter of last week’s game due to an irregular heartbeat, but he practiced all week and will be attacking a Colts defense that gave up 8 yards per carry to the Chiefs last week.
Today’s marquee early Sunday NFL Football game between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts gets underway at 1pm EST / 10am PST in high definition on CBS via cable/satellite or free over the air. Though not free, you can watch the official online live streaming version via NFL Sunday Ticket here. My prediction is the Texans start strong and never look back, knocking off the Colts 27-17 to secure the AFC’s top seed and home-field advantage.