The Colts will visit the Texans on Saturday (4:35 p.m., ABC/ESPN) for an NFL Wild Card matchup. Here are three keys to the game:
Offensively, the key for the Texans is how quarterback Deshaun Watson plays. In the Texans’ first six games (they lost their first three), Watson was intercepted seven times. In the final 10 games, he was picked just twice. Watson, though, has had a propensity to take sacks despite how mobile he is. In the regular-season finale against Jacksonville, he was sacked six times, bringing the season total to 62 — an NFL high. So that’s a concern.
Testing their Luck
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is the certain NFL Comeback Player of the Year with his 39 touchdown passes and career highs in completions (430), attempts (639) and completion percentage (67.3 percent) while throwing for 4,593 yards. Luck tied an NFL record by throwing TD passes to 13 different receivers. His No. 1 target is receiver T.Y. Hilton, who in seven career road games against the Texans has 41 catches for 933 yards and seven TDs. That includes a nine-catch, 199-yard game on Dec. 9 at Houston in a 24-21 win.
As if there were any question, Houston star defensive end J.J. Watt insisted all week he will play Saturday despite the right-elbow injury he sustained in the regular-season finale against the Jaguars. Watt, who underwent X-rays, said, “It’ll be fine by Saturday. It’s playoff football now. It doesn’t matter. You can cut it off. I’ll still play.” The question is whether Watt will be 100 percent. When he is, he’s a force, having recorded 16 sacks, seven forced fumbles and 61 tackles in 16 games this season.