The 2nd of 3 straight home games brings in the Houston Texans to face our Colts. This is arguably the biggest game of the year so far for the Colts, as they could put a huge stranglehold on the division, going up 4 games in the division.
Both teams have had to wade through season-ending injuries this week. We all know about the Colts injury problems, but the Matt Schaub has lost his security blanket, Owen Daniels, for the season as well. The media, of course, thinks then that Andre Johnson will have a huge day without Daniels, and with the Colts starting two rookie corners. Like the Colts have done several other times this year. More on this a little later.
Coming into this week, the Colts are ranked 1st Offensively, 12th Defensively, and 3rd Overall, according to the Winning Stats Power Rankings. The Texans are 14th, 9th, and 12th respectively. The Texans defense has been playing better than the offense, although the Texans have played the easiest defensive schedule so far this year. That's changing today.
Stats after the jump...
Here are the numbers:
|Turnovers / Game||0.86||2||1.71||12||1.63||14||1.88||7|
|Avg Start Pos||28.3||21||26.4||3||31.5||10||25.9||1|
|3 and Outs / Game||2.43||2||3.57||22||3.75||15||5.63||1|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.671||4||0.750||19||0.724||10||0.939||7|
|Net Punts Yds||41.58||8||42.29||28||39.46||18||40.51||20|
Keys to the Game:
- Colts ANPY/A Defense vs. Texans ANPY/A Offense will be the key to the game. The Colts have consistenly shown how good they are on defense in this category, no matter the opponent (Remember Warner/Fitzgerald/Boldin? Shut them down too). The Texans are very good throwing the ball. If the Colts play like they have all year, they'll win.
- Flip the stat around to the other side of the ball. Manning has only struggled against the teams in the top half of ANPY/A on defense. The Texans are not in the top half, so expect a big day from #18.
- Looking at these stats, the Texans seem to get opposing offenses off the field quickly (4th in TOP/Drive, 2nd in Plays/Drive, 1st in Three & Outs). However, look at Yards / Play. 25th in the league. That means lots of big plays. Manning missed on quite a few long passes last week. Expect them to keep trying that, and hopefully converting them.
- The Texans haven't been good running the ball this year. Let's hope this continues this year.
- The Texans also aren't that good at converting 3rd/4th down plays. Time to make that continue as well.
One other thing...Texans owner Bob McNair is a horse owner, and one of his horses, Cowboy Cal, ran in the Breeders Cup Mile yesterday. He finished 10th of 11.