Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/22/11
The longest winning streak in Texans history (7 games) and the longest losing streak in Colts history (13 games) were both snapped last week.  Now the two teams meet on a short week on NFL networks Thursday Night Football.  Uber popular NFL shill, Peter King, said of this game “First real sign of shakiness for T.J. Yates, against Carolina. How will he respond Thursday at suddenly interesting Indy?” Suddenly interesting Indy? Are you f$^#%ing kidding me?

There is nothing interesting about the Colts right now outside of their off season plans with Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and lame duck coach Jim Caldwell, and Jim Irsay's tweets. The only time the Colts have been interesting over the last seven weeks was whether or not why would get a win. Now that they have they’re jut like any other bad team. Now I digress.
 
The Houston Texans had the inescapable late season let down for a team that’s clinched the division, losing to the lowly Panthers at home. While the Panthers are much better than their record the game was never really close after the Panthers jumped to a 21-0 lead at halftime. While it was the second worst outing for the defense all year much of that can be attributed to the offensive turnovers and woes which gave the Panthers a short field throughout the first half. In fact the defense stepped it up in the second and only allowed a touchdown off of a 24 – yard Deangelo Williams scamper. 
 
The real concern for the Texans last week was the less than stellar – ok it was awful – play of T.J. Yates against a very porous Carolina Panthers defense. Yates inexplicably morphed into Check-Down Charlie continuously dumping the ball underneath the entire day and failing to make any splash plays with his arm.  In fact 53% of his completions were to players coming out of the backfield and the longest pass play of the day was a 25-yard screen to Arian Foster. The top two receivers on the day were a running back and a fullback, so look for Gary Kubiak and the Texans to get the passing game more involved this week.
 
At least T.J. Yates gets to play against one of the few pass defenses worse than the Panthers. The Colts secondary is astoundingly awful ranking No. 31 in Defensive Passer Rating, No. 32 in Real Defensive Passer Rating, and No. 29 in Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt.
 
Meanwhile the Colts finally got a victory over their divisional rival Tennessee Titans, relegating themselves to just another bad team in the annals of NFL history. It’s a shame really to think they were just three weeks away from putting themselves among the pantheon of the pathetic with a winless season. I guess only the 76’ Buccaneers and 08’ Lions can be that historically horrendous.  
 
Nevertheless there is one giant, shining similarity between he 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2011 Indianapolis Colts: DAN ORLOVSKY. The man the myth the legend, Dan “Out of Bounds” Orlovsky finally got his first NFL victory in his 10th try; he did so with just 82 yards passing. Congratulations to Dan and shame on you Curtis Painter. 
 
To put Orlovsky in perspective T.J. Yates (a 5th round rookie) has started three NFL games and he already has 100% more wins. Unfortunately for Orlovsky it’s going to be tough to get that second win tonight against a defense that ranks No. 1 in Defensive Passer Rating, No.1 in Real Defensive Passer Rating, and No.1 in Defensive Real passing yards per attempt. With Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed screaming off the edge it could get ugly quick tonight for Orlovsky. Look for the Colts to try and establish he run with Donald Brown who had a remarkable 161 yards rushing last week against the Titans. 
 
 On the other side of the field look for the Texans to run the ball early and often in hopes of getting some easy throws for T.J. Yates and get his confidence back. They’ll try and run it down the Colts throat and force them to stop it as usual but it won’t be a completely one dimensional game. The Texans are going to try and get T.J. Yates as much practice as possible leading up to the playoffs so look for them to try and get the ball downfield throughout the game. Even if T.J. Yates has another awful performance it’s highly unlikely the Colts offense would be able to take advantage of it. Donald Brown won’t be rushing for 161 against the stout Texans defense. Regardless, after the loss last week, I don’t expect them to coast through this game.
 
Lets face it: the Texans are a pretty damn good football team and the Colts are awful this year. To make matters worse for Indy fans the Colts already got over the winless hump and I highly doubt Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney are in that Indy locker room, giving the team a rousing speech as to why they need to finish strong at 3-13 and play themselves out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
 
As I look into my crystal ball I see Dan Orlovsky on the turf surrounded by Texans defenders and a big night for Arian “Please No More Fumbles” Foster. Expect another bad NFL network game and I’m not talking about the production value. I like the Texans by a touchdown in a relatively low scoring affair. Chalk it. 
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