- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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A weekly examination of the Colts’ quarterback play
Rewind: The Colts had their bye last weekend, so Luck hasn’t played since he went 21-of-38 for 228 yards and four touchdowns (three passing and one rushing) in their victory over the Denver Broncos Oct. 20. His performance earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors last week.
Fast-forward: Sunday will be the first time in his young career -- 24 games -- that Luck won’t have Reggie Wayne on the field with him. Wayne is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Luck has targeted Wayne a team-high 58 times this season. That means Luck will have to find another go-to receiver against a Houston Texans defense that's the best in the league. The Texans are giving up only 145.6 passing yards a game this season. They're 13th in the league in sacks with 22. The Colts also don't have an established third receiver on the roster. Luck was 13-of-27 for 186 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans in Houston last season.
Strong play after the bye: Luck had one of his best games after their bye week last season. He went 31-of-55 for 362 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and the Colts scored 27 points in the second half of their come-from-behind victory over the Green Bay Packers. Indianapolis came from 18 points down, tying for the third-largest comeback in franchise history.
Prediction: Missing Wayne and facing the best team in the league at defending the pass could make for a long night for Luck. Establishing a running game with Trent Richardson and Donald Brown would help ease Luck’s load and potentially open up the passing game.