Indianapolis (3-2) at Houston (3-2), 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NRG Stadium) The two teams that have won the last two AFC South titles face off in Houston Thursday night to open play in week 6 of the National Football League. Indianapolis and Houston meet for the 25th time in their history in the Lone Star State in prime time.

Indianapolis goes for its fourth-consecutive victory of the season on Thursday night after a 20-13 win against Baltimore, led by quarterback Andrew Luck’s fourth 300-yard passing performance in five games this season. Indy held Baltimore to 90 yards on the ground in the Hoosier State last Sunday, while forcing three Ravens turnovers. The Colts were 7-15 and 0-1 on third and fourth downs and kept the ball for 38:43, while the Ravens on third and fourth downs were 1-11 and 1-3, keeping the ball nevermore for 21:17.

With seven catches for 77 yards last week, wide receiver Reggie Wayne (13,950) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter (13,899) for the ninth-most receiving yards all-time. Wayne needs 55 yards against the Texans on Thursday night to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer James Lofton for eighth place.

Wayne also looks to extend his streak of impressive performances against AFC South opponents. Since divisional realignment in 2002, Wayne leads all active players in receptions (376) and receiving yards (5,077) against his own division. His 29 touchdowns ranks third behind Larry Fitzgerald (38) and Antonio Gates (31) for the most against division opponents since 2002.

Reggie Wayne vs. AFC South opponents since 2002:
GAMES-RECEPTIONS, RECEIVING YARDS (AVERAGE) (TOUCHDOWNS, YARDS PER GAME)
69-376, 5,077 (13.5) (29, 73.6)

The Texans enter Week 6 following a 20-17 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“No loss feels good. But like I said, we have a quick turnaround here,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle, KPRC-TV and KHOU-TV. “We’ve got to get better and we’ve got to get better fast because we haven’t played a division game yet and we have a very big division game coming up on Thursday night in front of our home fans.”

In the loss to their instate rival Dallas, wide receiver Andre Johnson had five receptions for 58 yards, bringing his career total to 954 receptions. Johnson moved past Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed (951) for the 11th-most receptions in NFL history. He also reached his 950th reception in his 159th game, the second-fastest player to reach 950 receptions all-time (Marvin HarrisonN, 158 games). Johnson needs 19 receiving yards to become the 15th player in NFL history to reach 13,000.

Houston did manage to force three Dallas turnovers in the contest, while going 4-13 on third down and 0 for 1 on fourth (Dallas was 8 of 14) in the contest. Dallas won the battle of time, holding the ball for 36:07 to Houston’s 31:08.

Running back Arian Foster rushed for a game-high 157 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5, including a one-yard touchdown run in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. Dallas’s DeMarco Murray was no slouch in that contest in Arlington, either, rushing for 136 yards of his own. Since 2010, Foster leads the AFC with 5,210 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns, including 752 yards (125.3 per game) and six touchdowns in six career matchups against Indianapolis.

Arian Foster’s rushing numbers since 2010:
GAMES/ATTEMPTS-YARDS (AVERAGE/TOUCHDOWNS/YARDS PER GAME)
57/1,163-5,210 (4.48/45/91.4)*

*Leads AFC

Indy leads the series 20-4, have outscored the Texans 664-470 and have won four of the last six meetings with Houston, including a series sweep in 2013. Houston’s last win over the Colts came in the 2012 season, when they took a 29-17 win in Houston.

In the first contest in week nine in Houston last season, the Colts needed a rally in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 points unchallenged in that final 15 minutes of play to take a 27-24 win. Indy trailed 24-12 after the first 45 minutes of action before taking the lead for keeps. The Colts were held to 69 yards rushing and Luck was sacked four times but did manage to throw three TDs, while Houston QB Case Keenum, a University of Houston product, threw three TDs of his own, outpassing Luck in yardage 350-271. Neither club did anything to write home about on third down tries in the first contest, as the Colts were 4 of 13, while Houston was 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on fourth down tries. Ironically, the clock favored Houston, who kept the ball for 36:12 to Indy’s 23:48.

The Colts made it a clean sweep of the series and had little trouble with the Texans in the Hooiser State in week 15, limiting Houston to 3 first quarter points while they were on their way to the postseason and a 25-3 win. Indy outrushed Houston 152-107 and this time, it was Keenum that was the one being sacked (4 times with 2 interceptions), while Luck threw a pair of TDs in the win. Both clubs were 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down in the second meeting and the home team won the time of possession battle, keeping the ball to themselves for 33:11, while Houston kept it for only 26:49.

Indianapolis was favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under was 44 in the week nine contest. The Colts won by 3, covering the spread and both teams covered the over/under by combining for 51 points. Indianapolis in the week 15 affair at Lucas Oil Stadium covered the 5-point spread with their 22-point win but both the Colts and Texans failed to reach the 45 1/2 over/under, comibing for only 28 points.

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Colts on the road on Thursday night as a 3-point favorite and the over/under is 46. Indy is 11-1-1 on Thursdays, while the Texas are 2-3. Better make that Indy 12-1-1, Houston 2-4. Colts cover the 3 and win on the road deep in the Heart of Texas.

Injury Report

Indianapolis
OUT: CB Darius Butler (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), G Jack Mewhort (ankle), G Hugh Thornton (back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jerrell Freeman (hamstring)
PROBABLE: LB Bjoern Werner (ankle)

Houston

OUT: LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Darryl Morris (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Andre Johnson (ankle)
PROBABLE: RB Alfred Blue (knee), CB A.J. Bouye (groin), G Brandon Brooks (ankle), LB Brian Cushing (knee), LB Akeem Dent (shoulder), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (calf), RB Arian Foster (hamstring), DE Tim Jamison (groin), WR Damaris Johnson (foot), G Ben Jones (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), P Shane Lechler (left hip), T Derek Newton (ankle), DT Ryan Pickett (knee), S Eddie Pleasant (ankle), S D.J. Swearinger (elbow), LB Jeff Tarpinian (thigh), DE J.J. Watt (thigh)

Weather Forecast: Game indoors; if roof is open, Mostly clear and 81 degrees.

Broadcast Information – CBS/NFLN at 8:25 p.m.: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Rod Woodson, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (Indianapolis), 92 (Houston). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (Indianapolis), 226 (Houston).

Broadcast and injury information courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy USA Today and Dons Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel  

Advertisements