Indianapolis Colts: Three Keys Against the Houston Texans

Its Wildcard weekend and the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans kick off the playoffs Saturday with their third meeting of the season at NRG Stadium. Having split the season series 1-1, this playoff matchup should be exhilarating as both of the regular season contests came down to final drives and 3 point victories. The Colts are looking to take advantage of matchups, some untimely injuries and lessons learned from their previous meetings. Here are 3 keys to the Colts winning the opening contest Saturday.

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T.Y. Hilton

While Hilton is suffering from an ankle injury that has slowed him down in the past few weeks, his opposing cornerback, Houston’s Jonathan Joseph is nursing a neck injury. The connection of Andrew Luck and Hilton this season seems like 2 friends who were apart but when back together are like nothing has ever changed. Hilton has the ability to go off and put the game on his shoulders. The last time these two teams faced off he posted a slash line of 9/199/0. Hilton will have to be this player again to give the Indianapolis Colts the first playoff win in 4 seasons.

Andrew Luck

Who would have ever thought that Luck would come back and have a season as he has thus far? Coming off an injury that sidelined him for the entire 2017/2018 season Luck has put up numbers. He has 430 completions, 4,953 passing yards, 39 TDs and a passer rating of 98.7. He will most likely be named Comeback Player of the Year. Although he will need to continue to play like it if he wants to take his team deeper into the playoffs. Luck will have to utilize the weapons as he has all season, Eric Ebron, T.Y. Hilton and the rest of the pass catchers will have to be efficient in their targets to make sure Luck’s success.

Solid Defense

The Indianapolis Colts defense is not the same joke it has been in previous seasons. Under the tutelage of Matt Eberflus, this defense has gone from downright terrible to an above average group. Lead by rookie sensation Darius Leonard the defense that was ranked 32 in week one finished the season ranked 11, not a bad change for 17 weeks. This defense will have to stop the run and shut down Lamar Miller, which they have had success with in both meetings, but they will also have to scheme to take arguably the best receiver in the game DeAndre Hopkins out of the game to ensure victory.

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How do you feel about the Indianapolis Colts heading into the 2018 Wildcard round? Leave a comment below.

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You can follow Stephen on twitter over @rendermann

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