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Indianapolis Colts Recap: Week 15, vs. Houston Texans

Playoffs or bust.

This fall, the magazine will recap each week of the Colts’ strange, pandemic-hobbled season. This week: digital editor Derek Robertson, with contributors Derek Schultz and Nate Miller talk about the Colts’ important divisional win over the Houston Texans.

Derek Robertson: History oddly repeated itself this weekend, as the Colts made official their victory over this luckless Texans team by recovering yet another game-ending fumble with just seconds to go. Rivers and co. have now won three in a row, but are oddly stuck in neutral in the standings with the winning streaks our closest AFC rivals (record-wise), the Titans and Browns, have also ripped off. Regardless, it’s been pretty awesome to see this team over the past month or so now establish a solid formula and consistently use it to get Ws. Also, it was awesome to see Rigoberto Sanchez get back on the field just three weeks after having a tumor removed. That is Anvil-ness personified.

Nate Miller: I rather enjoy your ironic use of “oddly” there. The Texans coughing up the game in the fourth quarter was “odd” like sunrises, gravity, and IU football getting shoved down a sinkhole by the Powers That Be are “odd.” Extremely not odd at all. Quite expected, really. The only odd thing about it was that T.Y. Hilton didn’t have 900 yards on like six catches, somehow. But he had enough.

Derek Schultz: I’m a little concerned about the defense allowing opponents to go up and down the field for the last month-plus, but yeah, to Nate’s point: Death. Taxes. T.Y. vs. the Texans. I think it got lost in the Darius Leonard punch-out, but Hilton’s catch to set up what ended up being the game-winning touchdown was one of the biggest plays of the year. I’m not sure fans realize it, but the Colts would be dangerously on the brink of missing the playoffs had they lost any of the last three games.

NM: Same. And I’m more than a little concerned to learn there’s a “Jacoby Package” that exists in this cold, confusing world: a Jacoby-specific set of plays that are NOT just him falling forward 19 inches while clutching the ball. Plays that involve… passing. Those plays need to thrown into an acid-filled oil drum and disintegrated, Ozark-style. Then sink that oil drum to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and never speak of this again.  

DR: Meanwhile, the Packers have locked down a bye with just one more win than the Colts. The AFC! These next two games will be a study in contrasts, as the Steelers try desperately to hang in there with the Chiefs, and then the Jaguars attempt in Week 17 to put on a cute little Christmas pageant and pretend that they are actually a professional football team. Of course, as I type that I remember the ass-kicking they gave the Colts at the very beginning of this season, so, you know, knock on wood. (Although now that the Jets have won one, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags kick the Trevor Lawrence tank-machine into high gear). What are you guys most worried about going into this stretch and the Wild Card round, given the razor’s edge this team’s playoff hopes have been on?

NM: The biggest fear is that the Colts lose to the Jags to miss the playoffs, which would be the most fitting nightcap to 2020 this side of a Strychnine-‘n-tonic. It is TOO fitting, really. Worrisomely so. I am bracing for it, truth be told. I’ve seen enough of this miserable year to expect anything except flaming toilet fires of SUCK: the Jags will rush for 628 yards in a disgusting 35-6 romp, Civil War II (2 Science-y 2 Multicultural) hits the empty theaters next Monday, and it’ll be 25 degrees and raining until the metaphorical IndyCar drops at midnight, maiming hundreds. Plan for the worst, hope for something marginally less awful than “the worst,” I always say (this year)!!

DR: Nate, you were “Super Bowl or bust” last week! What happened??

NM: I was drinking FourLoko’s last weekend and forgot what year it was. Now I am drinking only clarity and an Alex Jones’ goat root mercury elixir. I am at one with reality; I can hear the misery and missed tackles to come. Or I’m having a cerebral infarct of some kind. One or the other.

DS: The IndyCar drop was AMAZING. I can’t believe they axed that thing. I get Nate’s fear that Something Really Bad Will Happen, it’s still 2020 after all, but barring a loss to Jacksonville, it seems like the Colts will get in. They’re definitively a good football team who has been Fun To Watch (another Nate term!). As long as they get in the postseason, they have a chance… even if it’s against this stupid ridiculous Kansas City team.

DR: If that game happens and ends up being even half as entertaining as the ’13 Wild Card game, I’ll be a satisfied viewer. Until next week!

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