This is another interesting bit from Peter King's postcard from Colts training camp:
Speaking of Sept. 12 at Houston, more than a few Colts have noticed how inflamed the Texans are about the game. "It's like the most important game in the history of their franchise, from what we're hearing out of there,'' said one Colt veteran. "They might be putting a little too much emphasis on it.''
Well, having been there, I can tell you this: The Texans won't feel they're any good -- really any good -- until they can summit Mount Manning.
Some Texans fans have gotten insufferable of late, and I guess that has bled over into their players. I can understand the frustration in Houston. We Colts fans remember the lean years (1984-1995). But, at the same time, whoever the unnamed Colts veteran who said the Texans "might be putting a little too much emphasis on it," actually makes a good point.
If you put too much emphasis on your first game, and you blow that first game, it can really put a damper on your entire NFL season. In inverse is also dangerous. If you beat the Colts, but go 0-3 after that and the Colts go 3-0, you're still pretty much screwed. This is a 16 game marathon, not a one game sprint.
Also, if the Texans don't think they're "any good" until they beat the Colts, then they are going to spend a lot of time mulling over how much they think they suck. The Texans are an improved team, and that this point you'd think that it's about friggin time. They've drafted in the top of the order for several years now, and last year was their first winning season in franchise history. The bottom line in Houston is Gary Kubiak must get the Texans to the playoffs. If he doesn't, it's his job. His job will also be evaluated on whether or not he can beat the Colts.
Thus, the emphasis.
The problem with Houston is that they are simply not better than the Colts on offense, defense, special teams, or coaching. Obviously, I'm a homer and my opinion should have a meteor-sized grain of salt sitting on top. But, I think the win-loss record speaks for itself. The Colts have owned the Texans for a reason. They're simply better.
Oh, and it's not like they aren't two other teams in this division who suck or anything. Tennessee has a 2,000 yard back in Chris Johnson, and the Jaguars are vastly improved (according to Bill Polian).
It's worth noting that lots of teams use the Colts as a measuring stick for their club's overall skill. The Texans just happen to be one of them. Nothing more special about it than that. When you're a team like the Colts and you post the best overall record of any team in a single decade, it kind of puts a target on your back.
The Texans host the Colts in Week One.