By Danny Cox
The Houston Texans are right in the thick of things as week 15 of the 2014 NFL season is going to say a lot about how the playoffs may shape up. Led by J.J. Watt, they're having a much better season than they did in 2013, but things still haven't quite worked out how they had hoped. With four other teams with identical 7-6 records, the Texans need a victory over the Indianapolis Colts to keep up with the wildcard pack or pull ahead.
Speaking of Indianapolis, they can wrap up another AFC South divisional title with a victory over the Texans as their magic number is down to one. Dan Fouts of CBS Sports spoke on the match-up this weekend that could put the Colts in the driver's seat toward home-field advantage and a first-round bye while having the Texans fighting for their postseason lives.
The Colts can win the AFC South with a victory over Houston. Do you think they can go far in the playoffs with the not-very-productive rushing duo of Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw or will they need more out of them?
Dan Fouts: "Well, you've got to have a balanced attack in the playoffs. It comes down to not knowing who you will be facing in the playoffs or even where those games are going to be played. We all know that if it's in Denver or in New England and the Colts are outdoors in the cold and the wind is blowing...a lot of bad things can happen in the passing game. So obviously, the Colts have got to work these last three weeks of the regular season on their rushing attack and get it going more for the playoffs."
Why have Andre Johnson's numbers been so low this year?
DF: "DeAndre Hopkins is a great players and he's been very productive. When you have a quarterback change as the Texans have had, that affects things as well. Also, teams are going to look at Andre Johnson and say that they won't let him beat them. They will double-team him and bring more attention to him. It's not necessarily that anything has changed in his game, but teams are now defending him better."
J.J. Watt seems to be heading for the Defensive Player of the Year, but do you think it's possible for him to take the MVP?
DF: "You know, it's only been done by a defensive player two other times—Lawrence Taylor and Alan Page—but that was a different era. Both of those guys are Hall of Famers. If Watt continues to do some of the amazing things that he has done, he will get some votes. I don't think it will be enough though. (Aaron) Rodgers right now may be the front-runner, but I think J.J. is the most entertaining player in the league."
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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