Indianapolis (2-2) at Houston (1-3), 8:30 p.m. on CBS and NFL Network. The AFC South has center stage on Thursday night and opens play in week five when Indianapolis travels to the Lone Star State to face the struggling Houston Texans on CBS and NFL Network at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Colts are on top in the AFC South but the Texans, inspite of their loss to Atlanta last week, are one game back.

After struggling in the first two contest, the Colts, who may or may not have Andrew Luck under center, are aiming for their third win of the seaosn and third in a row afte they pulled out a 16-13 overtime win at home against Jacksonville. Kicker Adma Vinatieri converted all three field goal attempts, including the 27-yard game-winner in overtime and one PAT for a total of 10 points against the Jaguars. Vinatieri, who scored 1,158 points in 10 seasons with New England (1996-2005), has now scored 1,004 points for Indianapolis and is the first player in NFL history to score at least 1,000 points with two different teams. He also surpassed Mike Vanderjagt (995 points) as the Colts’ all-time scoring leader.

“Adam is money, he is clutch,” says Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano about Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal. “He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and I think everyone here agrees.”

Jacksonville held the Colts to 60 yards rushing in the Hoosier State, while the Jaguars ran for 142 and Matt Hasslebeck, who stood in for Andrew Luck, threw for 282 yards in the overtime win. Both clubs struggled on third down conversions (Jacksonville was 7 of 18, while the Colts were 7 of 15) and the clock, including overtime, favored Jacksonville, who kept the ball for 36:10 to Indy’s. 34:14

The game also marked the Colts’ 15th consecutive division victory, which ties the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins for the longest streak since 1970. Indianapolis’ active win streak against AFC South opponents began on December 30, 2012, when
the Colts earned a 28-16 win against Houston.

The teams with the most consecutive divisional wins since 1970:
TEAM – SEASONS (AGAINST DIVISION, CONSECUTIVE DIVISIONAL WINS
Indianapolis – 2012-15 (AFC South, 15)*
Miami – 1972-73 (AFC East, 15)
Dallas – 1993-94 (NFC East, 14)
*Active

​“We don’t have much time and there is no 24-hour rule in effect on this one,” says Pagano. “We have to get to work. We have another tough division game on the road on Thursday night down in Houston.”

Houston enters Week 5 following a 48-21 loss at Atlanta.

Texans wide receiver De Andre Hopkins had nine receptions for 157 yards against the Falcons. It was Hopkins’ second consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards, marking the first time in his career he has done so in back-to-back games. Houston fell behind Atlanta quickly in the loss in the Big Peach and could never really recover, trailing 42-0 after three quarter of play before scoring 21 fourth quarter points unchallenged. The Texans were held to 54 yards rushing in the loss and turned the ball over four times in the contest.

“We need to get some things corrected,” says Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who recorded three tackles for loss and a sack against Atlanta. Watt told the Houston Chronicle, KHOU-TV and KPRC-TV, “We have a short week this week with a game on Thursday night. Maybe that is the thing we need, to get back out there and to get this taste out of our mouths. We have a tough division opponent at home, so we need to go out there and play some good football.” Houston on third down conversions went 7 of 15 and 0 of 2 on fourth down tries, while Atlanta ruled the roost, going 9 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs and the Matt Ryan-led Falcons kept the ball for 35:52, while Houston kept it for 24:08.

Houston running back Arian Foster, who made his season debut in Week 4, looks to continue his career success against Indianapolis. Since entering the league in 2009, Foster leads the AFC with 53 rushing touchdowns and an average of 86.6 rushing yards per game, including 960 yards (120 per game) and eight touchdowns in eight career matchups against the Colts.

Arian Foster’s rushing numbers since 2009:

GAMES – ATTEMPTS / YARDS, AVERAGE; TOUCHDOWNS, YARDS PER GAME
73 – 1,399 / 6,319, 4.52, 53,* 86.6*
*Leads AFC

The Colts lead the series 22-4, have outscored the Texans 714-508 and have won five of the last six meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Houston’s last win in the series came in 2012 in the Lone Star State by a 29-17 final). Indy won the first meeting, a week six meeting in Houston 33-28. The Colts took a 27-14 lead at the half and then needed to hold off a late Texans rally to take the win on the road. Watt did have a 45 yard fumble return for a TD in the contest to make the game close but Houston could not come any closer. Houston did outrush Indy 136-93 and Foster ran for 109 yards and a pair of TDs himself but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick found himself getting sacked five times. Houston was 1 of 8 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions at NRG Stadium and kept the ball for 23:11, while Indy was 50 percent on third doww (8 of 16) and held the pigskin for 36:49.

The Colts made the sweep of the series complete in week 15 and it was another nailbiter as they would hang on to take the 17-10 win. Once again, Houston outrushed Indy in the second meeting 137-110 with Foster rushing for 99 yards on 26 carries. Both teams turned the ball over twice at Lucas Oil Stadium but Luck did manage to throw a pair of TD passes in the win. Like the first contest, both teams struggled on third down conversions (Houston was 5 of 16, Indy went 2 of 12) and the Texans failed in their only fourth down try in the contest. That was the bad news. The good news? The Texans ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:05 to Indy’s 28:55.

In the week six contest in Houston, the Colts were favored by 3 and won by 5, covering the spread. Both teams also managed to cover the 46 by two touchdowns. The oddsmakers liked the Colts in week 15 as a 6 1/2 favorite and they made the oddsmakers happy, winning by 7. The over/under of 49 1/2? Neither team came close, as they would combine for only 27 points. The oddsmakers this time around like the Texans as 2 point favorites at home with the over/under coming in at 45. Both teams have been struggling of late and the 45 over/under makes sense and so does the 2 point spread. Houston may play a little better than they did last week in Atlanta but Colts continue their winning trend in the Lone Star State and takes the win and covers the 2.

BROADCAST INFORMATION: CBS and NFLN at 8:25 p.m.: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter). SIRIUS: 83 (Indianapolis), 93 (Houston). XM: 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (Houston).

Injury ReportIndianapolis
OUT: LB Jerrell Freeman (Groin), RB John Varga (Concussion), LB Bjoern Werner (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Adams (Neck), DT Henry Anderson (Foot), CB Vontae Davis (Foot), QB Matthew Hasselbeck (Illness), QB
Andrew Luck (Shoulder)
PROBABLE: TE Dwayne Allen (Ankle), RB Frank Gore (Foot), DE Kendall Langford (Back), CB Gregory Toler (Neck)

Houston
OUT: S Quintin Demps (Hamstring), LB Akeem Dent (Hamstring), RB Jonathan Grimes (Hamstring), WR Cecil Shorts (Shoulder), WR Nate Washington (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Whitney Mercilus (Thigh), RB Christopher Polk (Knee), S Lonnie Ballentine (Knee)
PROBABLE: Max Bullough (Shoulder), LB Brian Cushing (Foot), QB Ryan Mallett (Chest), T Derek Newton (Ankle), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (Calf), DT Vincent Wilfork (Ankle), T Duane Brown (Hand), LB Jadeveon Clowney (Shoulder), RB Arian Foster (Groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (Hip), S Edward Pleasant (Thigh)

Weather Forecast: Game indoors; if roof is open, mostly cloudy and 82 degrees.

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

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