The Indianapolis Colts welcome the Houston Texans into Indianapolis in week 15, with the hopes of pulling off a season sweep and better positioning themselves for the AFC playoffs.
Some might suggest Andrew Luck and co. don’t have much to play for. At 8-5, the Colts stand atop the AFC South, own the division title, and are already in the playoffs. While the motivation may be lacking, Indy may want to pull things together a little tighter just to enter post-season play on a strong note.
After all, the Colts have gotten off to horrible starts in the first half of games in three out of their last four contests. Their running game has been shaky to borderline non-existent, while the passing game has struggled since the loss of veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne (torn ACL).
Enter the Texans, who just fired head coach Gary Kubiak and are still in search of their first win since week two. Case Keenum remains in the saddle at quarterback and after torching the Colts in the first half of their first meeting, Indy has to be somewhat scared of history repeating itself.
The Colts needed a furious comeback in the second half in that one, but another slow start isn’t likely something they can afford.
Despite the division rivalry and the exciting game we witnessed the last time these two teams met, fans can get into this game for just $68 on average (get-in: $9). That $68 price is 51% below the average price for Colts tickets this year, and 38% below Texans tickets on the road in 2013.
There’s no denying on one side that this game means less than it would if Houston was the playoff contender it was expected to be. With 11 losses on the year, the Texans don’t come off as a strong opponent. And with the division and a playoff spot locked up, Indy could lose this game (and their next two) and still get into the playoffs.
However, you can’t deny value when you see it. This is still a divisional clash, while both teams have something to fight for. Indy still has a chance at bettering their seed, while the Texans will be playing for pride as they look ahead to 2014.