NFL’s top rusher Jonathan Taylor leads Colts against Texans

INDIANAPOLIS (6-6) at HOUSTON (2-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS

OPENING LINE: Colts by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Indianapolis 7-5, Houston 5-6

SERIES RECORD: Colts lead 31-9.

LAST MEETING: Colts beat Texans 31-3 on Oct. 17 in Indianapolis.

LAST WEEK: Colts lost to Buccaneers 38-31; Texans lost to Jets 21-14.

COLTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (4), PASS (22), SCORING (4).

COLTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (17), RUSH (18), PASS (19), SCORING (20).

TEXANS OFFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (32), PASS (31), SCORING (32).

TEXANS DEFENSE: OVERALL (29), RUSH (31), PASS (15), SCORING (28).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Colts plus-12; Texans plus-2.

COLTS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR T.Y. Hilton. The four-time Pro Bowler resurfaced as a key option for Carson Wentz last week and, presuming he’s healthy, will face a foe he’s decimated in previous games. Hilton had four catches for a season-best 80 yards in his first matchup with the Texans this season.

TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Tyrod Taylor threw an interception in the first quarter last week before tossing two TD passes in the second to give Houston the lead. Things didn’t go so well for him and the rest of Houston’s offense after halftime when the team managed just 45 yards and was shut out in the second half of the loss. He said they need to play more consistently to get the offense back on track Sunday.

KEY MATCHUP: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor leads the NFL with 1,205 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns and the Texans rank 31st in the NFL by allowing 135.6 yards rushing a game. He had 145 yards rushing and two scores in the first meeting with Houston this season.

KEY INJURIES: Indy DT DeForest Buckner, a 2020 All-Pro, left Sunday’s game with an injured right knee. He returned and finished the game and said Wednesday he will play even though coach Frank Reich has Buckner listed as day to day. … Starting safety Khari Willis (calf) practiced and could play for the first time since going on injured reserve in early November. … Houston OL Justin Britt could return after missing four games with a knee injury. He returned to practice on a limited basis last week but coach David Culley said he wasn’t quite ready to play. … LT Laremy Tunsil is still recovering after having surgery on his left thumb Oct. 14. The Texans remain hopeful he can return this season.

SERIES NOTES: Indy has won five of its last seven overall, three straight in the series and is 13-6 all-time when visiting the Texans. … Houston’s last win in the series came in a 20-17 victory at home on Nov. 21, 2019. … The previous six games before Indy’s win this season had all been decided by seven points or less.

STATS AND STUFF: With four points, Taylor will join Hall of Famers Lenny Moore (1964) and Edgerrin James (1999 and 2000) as the only non-kickers in franchise history to score 100 points in a season. His next TD run also will tie James (17) for the third-highest single season total in team history and extend his streak of consecutive games with a rushing TD to 10. … Wentz is 399 yards passing from reaching 20,000 in his career. … RB Nyheim Hines needs one catch for 200 career receptions and 43 yards to hit 1,500. … With seven tackles, two-time All-Pro LB Darius Leonard will become the fifth player in franchise history with four straight 100-tackle seasons. … Indy leads the NFL in yards rushing per carry (5.18) and has allowed the NFL’s fewest sacks (92) since 2018. … The Colts’ defense has yielded 100 yards rushing only six times since 2018, the second fewest in the NFL (New Orleans, two). … Houston RB David Johnson had a season-high 55 yards of total offense last week. He has two rushing touchdowns combined in his last three home games against the AFC South. … WR Danny Amendola had 53 yards receiving in the last game against Indianapolis. … Rookie TE Brevin Jordan got his second career touchdown catch last week. … S Justin Reid will return after being suspended last week for violating team rules. … LB Zach Cunningham had eight tackles and a season-high two tackles for losses vs. the Jets. … LB Kamu Grugier-Hill had seven tackles and his second sack this season against the Jets. … LB Jacob Martin has had a sack in three straight games.

FANTASY TIP: Houston WR Brandin Cooks is Taylor’s favorite target and had his third touchdown reception last week. He had six receptions for 89 yards in the last game against Indianapolis and has a TD catch in his last two home games.

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