In Week One, the Texans and Arian Foster ran for 257 total rushing yards against the Colts. They won 34-24, averaging 6.1 per rush and scoring three rushing TDs. Foster had 33 carries in that game.
This past Monday, the Texans started the game with four straight passes, eventually punting from their 37 yard line. The Colts scored a TD on their
first second series, going up 7-0. On Houston's next series, they ran for 18 yards on three carries. They then threw two incomplete passes, and punted again. When they eventually got the ball back, their first play of the second quarter was a pass intercepted and run back for a TD by Kelvin Hayden.
In essence, that was the ballgame.
Following the game, many in the media were baffled as to why the Texans did not run the football early and often against the Colts. Apparently, they weren't alone. Colts defenders, like all-world safety Antoine Bethea, were equally baffled.
Radio host JMV at 1070 The Fan had Antoine Bethea on his show yesterday afternoon, and here's what he asked Bethea:
JMV: Were you suprised last night that the Texans didn't stick to the run, or try to accomplish on the ground anywhere near what they did in Week #1 at Reliant Stadium?
Beathea: Oh yeah. Personally, I was surprised. I figured, they had huge success, the first time we played them, running the ball. so, I figured they would try and come in and run the ball, keep Peyton and the offense off the field. But, they didn't do that, and we took advantage of that.
As we all know, great teams take advantage of other teams doing stupid things. 75% of winning in the NFL is allowing the other team to screw-up. The offensive gameplan Kubiak drew up to attack the Colts defense was pretty putrid. Foster ran the ball 15 times for 102 yards and one TD. That's over 6 yards a carry, folks. Had he run 33 times, like in Week One, he likely would have trended towards 250 yards and 3 TDs (again, like Week One).
The Colts did little last night to prove they could stop Foster, despite 'stopping the run' being the #1 priority for the defense.
Question: What was the focus defensively today?
Kelvin Hayden: Stop the run. The first thing we wanted to do was stop the run and force these guys into throwing the ball.
At the end of the day, a win is a win and we must all credit the Colts for doing what good teams do: Letting inferior teams beat themsevles. But, make no mistake: The Colts defense did not stop the Texans rushing attack. Gary Kubiak did.