Texans focus on pressuring Colts’ Luck

Taking into consideration all the Houston Texans accomplished while becoming just the second NFL team to win its division following an 0-3 start, their seemingly tenuous status as favorites on Saturday in the first wild-card game of the postseason offers a reflection of their opponent.The Indianapolis Colts (10-6), who will face the Texans (11-5) at NRG Stadium, are a familiar foe whose strengths have overcome their weaknesses.Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck fully reclaimed his standing as one of the preeminent quarterback in the NFL by finishing fifth in passing yards (4,593) and second in passing touchdowns (39) while making 16 starts for the first time since the 2014 campaign, the last season in which he guided Indianapolis to the playoffs.Luck sat out the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury.Protected by an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks (18) in the NFL, Luck performed brilliantly as the Colts recovered from a 1-5 start to win nine of their last 10 games. In that stretch, he completed 69.5 percent of his attempts while tossing 23 touchdowns against seven interceptions and passing for 2,801 yards.In two matchups against the AFC South champion Texans this season, Luck passed for 863 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. He was sacked six times as the teams split the meetings.”I mean, (Luck) does a good job,” said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who recorded 16 sacks this season. “Obviously, (their) offensive line does a good job. I think as the years went on, especially, they’ve done a great job getting the ball out of his hands quick. He makes quick reads, he’s a smart guy, he knows where he’s going with the ball, tries not to put himself in too much danger. He does a great job, and like I said, those guys up front for him do a good job.”The Texans must generate enough pressure on Luck as to prevent him from having an opportunity to pick apart their 28th-ranked pass defense. That Luck benefitted from the lowest sack rate (2.74 percent) of any quarterback in the league makes that particular task especially difficult.

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