Week Two: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Location: RCA Dome Indianapolis, IN
Kick-off time: 1:00 pm EST
The Colts begin a stretch of key division games this Sunday as they face off against a team they have dominated, the Houston Texans. The Texans were created when the NFL expanded back into Houston in 2002. In their entire existence, they have never beaten the Colts. Part of the reason they've never beaten Indy is the incompetence of their coaching staff. Dom Capers was always over-rated, and Vic Fangio (Capers' longtime defensive coordinator) couldn't coach a Pop Warner team. Capers and Fangio are now gone, replaced by Gary Kubiak and his staff. For the Texans, Kubiak is an excellent hire and he will bring a better system to Houston.
I watched Houston's loss to Philly last Sunday, and despite the L, the Texans looked improved. Of all the AFC South teams, Houston scares me the most. The Colts never take the Texans lightly, and Dungy seems to keep them focused. Here are some keys to the game:
- The Colts run defense. The run D looked terrible against the Giants. The absence of Corey Simon is very apparent, I don't care what Dungy says. Simon is not playing in this game, which has me very concerned. The Texans use the same zone-blocking scheme the Broncos use, and it is a very effective scheme. David Carr looks more comfortable in this offense, and if his o-line gives him time Carr can do great things with the football. If the Colts cannot stop the run, they are sunk.
- Pressure Carr. Houston's o-line stinks, and Indy should feast on Carr. The pressure should force him into bad throws and control the Texans offense.
- Running the ball. Both teams want to establish a ground game. The team that establishes the most consistent ground game will likely win. If Houston blitzes, look for Manning to set records. While Houston has a very fine CB in Dunta Robinson, the rest of their secondary stinks.
I managed to score tickets this week, and I will be at the Texans/Colts game! Division matchups are always key, and if you think the Texans are pushovers, just ask the folks at Big Cat Country. Every year, the Jaguars lose an important game to the Texans for whatever reason. Houston is a dangerous team on the rise. Never take them lightly.