INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are quite aware who, and what, they're going to be facing Sunday at Reliant Stadium.
Indianapolis, currently in second place in the AFC South with a 9-4 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the division, will be facing off against a Houston Texans team that has the best record in the National Football League (11-2).
The Texans are also the defending AFC South champions and are 4-0 in the division this year. Houston is also a little but wounded, pride-wise, after Monday night's 42-14 loss to New England.
A Colts win and the team will have returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
A loss would mean Indianapolis would have to wait and see how games involving Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, the New York Jets and Baltimore come out.
The Colts, if they were to win all three of their remaining games, would have a shot at winning the AFC South title. A Houston victory, however, would wrap up the division for the Texans.
Sunday is a big game for both teams.
But interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is preaching patience, both to his players and to the Colts' fan base.
"[It's just] the next game," Arians said when asked about the importance of Sunday's meeting with the Texans.
"The division title won’t happen if we don’t win this game. If you start, again, going ahead to titles and playoffs, you lose sight of what the real picture is. The real picture is beating the Texans this week.”
He knows that Houston will be smarting after the one-sided loss to the Patriots on a national stage.
“I think they know what’s on the line and they’ve got a lot of pride. They were going to play anyway, whether they won or lost," Arians pointed out.