Even with the Texans' win in Chicago last night, the standings say the Colts are in range of the Texans in the AFC South.
Houston is 8-1, Indianapolis is 6-3.
The Colts, obviously, have no control over what happens with the Texans until Weeks 15 and 17.
I won’t rant here on scheduling except to reiterate that it’s a joke for division teams A) not to play each other for the first time until Week 15 and B) to play both their games against each other in a three-week span.
Is it possible for the Colts to catch the Texans? It is. Is it likely? It is not.
That’s why, if I was a fan of Indianapolis, I’d actually be rooting for the Texans to continue run away with the division and the AFC. If Houston has nothing to play for in the regular-season finale, it won’t hesitate to rest people. We saw the Texans do it last season, when they also avoided overtime in their last game before the playoffs.
Gary Kubiak’s team wasn’t going to see its playoff positioning improve or get worse, and he didn’t want more game. So when the Texans scored a potentially game-tying touchdown at the end against the Titans at Reliant Stadium, he went for 2. Make it and win, miss it and lose. But see the game end no matter what.
They missed it.
Both the Texans and the Colts have something special going on, but in different ways.
The Texans are supposed to be where they are, and came into the season with great external expectations to match their own.
The Colts are not supposed to be where they are, and came into the season thinking they could be a big surprise to the people who had them 32nd in preseason power rankings.
The Texans are more talented, but at least right now the Colts may have an edge on them, and everyone, in intangibles. What other team is rallying around its ill coach who’s unable to work because he’s undergoing chemotherapy?
At any rate, when the teams meet on Dec. 16 at Reliant Stadium, plenty will have already sorted itself out. It’s hard to see a scenario where the Texans won’t need that one and both teams won’t do all they can to win.
Two weeks later on Dec. 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium, that may not be the case, even though the Texans have never won in Indianapolis and would love to see that change.
If Houston doesn’t need that game, it’d be a big advantage for the Colts.
It’s the scenario for which Indianapolis should be rooting.