How the Houston Texans can bounce back in a big way against the Colts

After dropping the opener to the Ravens on Sunday, the Texans welcome rookie QB Anthony Richardson and the Indianapolis Colts to Houston for the first divisional game of the season.

The Texans beat the Colts in the finale last year, and tied with the Colts in the first game of the season in 2022. So this is a team the Texans have a real chance at beating.

Vegas has the Texans as 1-point favorites at home, and we expect to see some improvement from CJ Stroud against the Colts' underwhelming pass defense. And this year they're without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was traded to the Cowboys in the offseason.

Indianapolis lost to the Jaguars last week, but Richardson looked pretty good in his debut, scoring two touchdowns in the defeat.

CJ Stroud should have more time to get the ball out this Sunday, which will hopefully lead to more aggressive throws downfield, as Stroud only threw one pass that traveled 20 yards or more against Baltimore.

But he did record 28 completions, which ties him with Trevor Lawrence for the 4th most completions in an NFL debut, per NFL Rookie Watch.

Taking some shots downfield should also loosen things up for Dameon Pierce and the Texans running game. Pierce clearly needs to be more involved, having only 13 total touches last week.

Make sure you watch the video above for the full Texans-Colts preview!

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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