INDIANAPOLIS – Curious on some key numbers ahead of Sunday afternoon's matchup between the Colts (6-7) and Texans (6-7)?
Here are 10 things to keep an eye on with a critical divisional matchup awaiting the Colts and Texans:
The jersey number of Colts quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and Texans quarterback T.J. Yates, respectively. Yates, who was born in Indianapolis and grew up in the Circle City until he was in third grade, will be the Texans starting quarterback on Sunday. Whitehurst is the Colts healthiest quarterback. The question is: Is Matt Hasselbeck healthy enough to start opposite Yates?
The points the Texans have allowed since Week Eight, the third fewest in the NFL. This Texans defense was expected to be one of the best in the NFL this season. The unit has played like it in the past month and a half. They have seen a major increase in their yards allowed, takeaways and sacks, to go along with the 4-2 record they have in the past six weeks.
The percentage of third downs allowed by the Texans this season, the best mark in the NFL. When it comes to the money-down, no one is better in the NFL than the Texans defense. The Colts have really struggled situationally the past few weeks, going a combined 7-for-30 on third downs.
The percentage of catches Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, respectively, has seen go for first downs this season. The tight end production for the Colts has really dropped in 2015. Last year, Fleener and Allen were both above 78 percent with their receptions going for first downs. In 2014, Allen ranked 2nd in the NFL in that category, with Fleener just two spots behind him.
The number of rushing yards Frank Gore had in the first meeting with the Texans this season. Gore's best game with the Colts came when they had to rely on the 32-year-old running back. Gore had 22 carries in that Thursday night win, a necessity with a quarterback bed-ridden that entire week.
The number for Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The NFL's best defensive player was nearly shut out when the Colts faced him back in Week Five. Whether it was Joe Reitz at right tackle, multiple tight ends blocking him, or even Anthony Castonzo flipping sides to create an unbalanced line, the Colts held Watt without a sack and a solo tackle (the only team to do that this season).
The percentage of goal-to-go situations the Texans defense has seen end in touchdowns this season. For how impressive the Texans have been on third down this season, they are the worst team in the NFL when it comes to goal-to-go situations. Houston has given up 14 touchdowns in the 14 times teams have faced a goal-to-go scenario against the Texans.
The number of receiving yards for DeAndre Hopkins back in Week Five against the Colts. This has to be the No. 1 focal point for the Colts defense on Sunday. Hopkins is the weapon for the Texans offense, frequently seeing target numbers in the teens. The Colts did not have a banged up Vontae Davis shadow Hopkins in Week Five. Does that change Sunday?
The number of receiving yards for T.Y. Hilton in seven career meetings against the Texans. Hilton's 43-yard reception, on a third-down with the fourth quarter clock ticking, back in early October sealed the Colts third straight divisional win. Hilton has been an absolute thorn in the Texans during his four NFL seasons.
The year the last time the Colts gave up at least 45 points in back-to-back games. It's been two weeks to forget for the Colts defense. The unit hasn't received much help though from the Colts punt coverage unit (back-to-back weeks allowing punt return touchdowns) and the offense's inability to finish off drives (1-of-9 in the red zone).