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Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

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The Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans will face off in a winner-take-all matchup Saturday night, with the chance to go to the playoffs on the line. Win and you’re in. Lose, and go home. 

When the Colts first faced Houston in Week 2, questions surrounded both teams. The Colts were being led by rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Jonathan Taylor was still away from the team, and the team had just come off a tough opening-day loss to the Jaguars. The Texans also were fresh off a beatdown by the Baltimore Ravens and were a team that didn’t quite know who they were or what they had in rookie QB C.J Stroud. 

Fast forward to week 18, and things have certainly changed. 

C.J Stroud has established himself as a potential franchise-altering player for Houston, as he enjoys one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback in recent memory. His rise has coincided with a turnaround for the Texans as a whole, as they sit at 9-7 and on the cusp of the playoffs. 

The Colts have had much more of a rollercoaster season, yet still find themselves with the same record as Houston. Richardson suffered a shoulder injury against the Titans in early October, ending his season prematurely. Jonathan Taylor finally returned to the team, but then had to miss another handful of games with a thumb injury. There have been suspensions and surprise releases, and yet here the Colts are. 

Both teams entered the season with low expectations. Both now have the opportunity to fight for a playoff spot (and if the Titans somehow beat the Jaguars this weekend, the AFC South title.) The Texans may have a better idea of what they have at quarterback than the Colts, but there is no denying that both teams are trending up, and in a much better place than they were at the start of the year. 

Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans made comments earlier this week about how both teams have evolved since that week 2 matchup. 

Yeah, we’re a completely different team, they’re a completely different team. For us, I don’t really put much weight on the first game of the year. I start watching and I’m like, ‘Man, who is this team? ’ It seems like that was so long ago, playing that second game.” 

During Wednesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to the voice of the Texans Marc Vandermeer. Marc gave his thoughts on DeMeco Ryans’ comments and if there is any truth to them  

“I think there is some truth, because who were the Colts then, right? You knew Minshew could do some things, or you felt like he could. Did you expect this out of Minshew, from top to bottom, this entire campaign? Look, it’s not like he’s lit it up like Joe Montana, but he’s carried the team to a winning season if nothing else, and I think that says a lot about him and the coaching staff of the Colts, and I think with DeMeco, you know he had the Jags kind of far apart on the schedule, the Titans two weeks apart on the schedule, so this feels like a long time ago. I mean, there’s a lot of water under the bridge this season for both teams, and I know they’ve both gone through a lot of players, but especially the Texans.” 

Listen to JMV’s full conversation with Marc Vandermeer and more down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!  

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