National Football League
Texans moving on to face Colts
National Football League

Texans moving on to face Colts

Published Dec. 8, 2014 7:48 p.m. ET

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans took care of business against two bad teams.

Now they are moving on to face much tougher competition, starting with Sunday's trip to Indianapolis, a place where they've never won.

Coach Bill O'Brien doesn't have to say anything to his team about its history in Indianapolis

''We're well aware that we have not won there,'' O'Brien said.


The Colts are in first place in the AFC South, two games ahead of second-place Houston with three games left in the regular season. The Texans have already won five more games than they did in last year's 2-14 season, but are still aiming higher.

O'Brien and the Texans don't talk about their possibilities for the postseason because they know there's no way they'll get there if they don't focus on each opponent.

''This game right here is a playoff game,'' O'Brien said. ''As far as that's concerned, as far as our team, this is a big game.''

Houston lost to the Colts 33-28 in the first meeting this season after falling behind 24-0 in a disastrous first quarter. The Texans were forced to punt on their first three possessions in that game and the Colts recovered an onside kick to build the big lead.

O'Brien doesn't like to talk about the past, but he is reminding his team about its struggles in that one.

''The thing that happened in the last Indianapolis game cannot happen,'' O'Brien said. ''If it does, we have no chance ... we can't get down like that to a really good football team and expect to win, especially on the road.''

The Texans have won two games in a row for the first time since the first two weeks of the season and O'Brien believes his team has grown since the last game against the Colts. Houston trailed 13-10 at halftime on Sunday before rallying for a 27-13 victory over Jacksonville.

''I thought our guys came in at halftime and really had a resolve about them that they were going to go out and win the game and that they were going to play better over the last half of the game,'' O'Brien said. ''I think that has improved over the year.''

The Texans could have to face Indianapolis without Andre Johnson after the receiver suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday. O'Brien said Johnson will have to go through the concussion protocol and that he'll be listed day to day this week.

If he can't go the Texans could rely more heavily on slot receiver Damaris Johnson, who has 250 yards receiving and a touchdown in limited action this season.

''That slot position is a very important position for us,'' O'Brien said. ''We certainly want it to be more involved probably than it has been this year.''

Houston's defense was bolstered by the return of cornerback Kareem Jackson, who had missed three games with a knee injury. It's a unit that has been led all season by defensive end J.J. Watt, who had another big game on Sunday.

He had three sacks against the Jaguars to give him 14 1/2 this season, which is third in the NFL. He returned a fumble by Andrew Luck for a touchdown and had two sacks the last time Houston played the Colts.

O'Brien knows that they'll have to try and slow down Luck if they hope to be successful on Sunday.

''They're a very, very good team,'' O'Brien said. ''They have a great quarterback, great coaching staff. It's a big challenge for us. Our guys know that they're going to have to put a lot into this week in order to go up there and meet that challenge.''


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