NFL 2015 Week 5 Thursday Game Preview: Colts at Texans

October 7, 2015

Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season begins on Thursday night (CBS/NFLN, 5:25 PM PT) with an AFC South matchup between the Indianapolis Colts (2-2) and the struggling Houston Texans (1-3) at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Indianapolis aims for its third consecutive victory of the season after a 16-13 overtime win against Jacksonville in which 40-year-old backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck stepped in for injured starter Andrew Luck and completed 30-of-47 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown.

Luck, who is dealing with a shoulder injury to his throwing arm, is questionable to play Thursday after participating in practice on a limited basis this week.  How effective he might be is another matter.

At least the Colts can take comfort in the reliability of their special teams. Kicker Adam Vinatieri converted all three field goal attempts last week, including the 27-yard game-winner in overtime, and one PAT for a total of 10 points against the Jaguars.

“Adam is money, he is clutch,” said 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.”

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.

The win over the Jaguars 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.

“We don’t have much time and there is no 24-hour rule in effect on this one,” said 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 an ugly 48-21 loss at Atlanta in which the Texans went down 42-0 and had starting quarterback Ryan Mallett replaced by journeyman Brian Hoyer.

Texans wide receiver DeAndre 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.

“We need to get some things corrected,” said Houston star defensive end J.J. Watt, who recorded three tackles for loss and a sack against Atlanta. “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 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.


LB Jerrell Freeman (groin), RB Tyler Varga (concussion), LB Bjoern Werner (hamstring)
S Mike Adams (neck), DT Henry Anderson (foot), CB Vontae Davis (foot), QB Matt Hasselbeck (illness), QB Andrew Luck (right shoulder)

TE Dwayne Allen (ankle), RB Frank Gore (foot), DE Kendall Langford (back), CB Gregory Toler (neck)


S Quintin Demps (hamstring), LB Akeem Dent (hamstring), RB Jonathan Grimes (hamstring), WR Cecil Shorts (shoulder), WR Nate Washington (hamstring)

S Lonnie Ballentine (knee), LB Whitney Mercilus (thigh), RB Chris Polk (knee)

T Duane Brown (hand), LB Max Bullough (shoulder), LB Jadeveon Clowney (shoulder, knee), LB Brian Cushing (foot), RB Arian Foster (groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (hip), QB Ryan Mallett (chest), T Derek Newton (ankle), S Eddie Pleasant (thigh), G Xavier Su'a-Filo (calf), DT Vince Wilfork (ankle)

By Staff of and news services

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