Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts & Solving the Road Game Problem

As the Houston Texans head into Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Indianapolis Colts and try to take control of the AFC South again, it’s a good opportunity to remember just how bad they are on the road.

Brock Osweiler

It’s not just a problem this season. The Texans are 6-23 all-time against the Colts (beat them 26-23 this season in Houston). Over the years, they’ve won in Indianapolis just one, last season. But their historic road problems against the Colts and in general have more than just Peyton Manning to put the blame on.

The Texans (6-6, leading the AFC South thanks to tiebreakers) are one of the worst road teams in the NFL, with a 1-5 record playing away. They scored less points than anyone on the road (13.2 points per game), throw for less yards (161.2) and average less yard per play than any other road team this season (4.3). 

Yes, you can blame a lot of it on Brock Osweiler. His passer rating at home isn’t that much better than on the road and his touchdown-interception ratio is actually better when playing away from home. However, he completes just 56.4% of his passes on the road compared to 63.3% at home, and he manages only 4.7 yards per pass attempt on the road compared to 6.9 at home. The Texans only road win this season came against one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Images via Zimbio
Images via Zimbio

With the Texans losing three in a row and scoring 13 points in each of their last two games, there isn’t a whole lot of optimism regarding their visit to Indianapolis, despite their two consecutive wins vs the Colts, and their 3-0 record against AFC South teams this season. Andrew Luck is playing good football this season, and their offense might be hard to keep up with for a team that struggles moving the ball away from home like the Texans.

While this may be the key game in the AFC South as we approach the playoffs and quickly, it’s impossible to forget the Tennessee Titans, also 6-6, and just as good as their two competitors for the one playoff ticket this division is going to get. The Texans also need to play them on the road, which puts an even bigger doubt on their hopes of making the postseason, despite what looked like a great start in a weak division. With Osweiler looking worse on a week-to-week basis, the front office (for giving him that massive deal) and Bill O’Brien (for being unable to develop him as a quarterback) are going to take a lot of heat along with the former Arizona State QB himself is this season does end with no postseason action for Houston.