It looked as though this was going to be the week where the Indianapolis Colts would lose their first game of the season. Three major parts of their defense, including former defensive player of the year Bob Sanders, were out with injury, the Houston Texans were coming in winning their last three games, and people were sure that the Colts defense was going to be exposed this week by the high powered Houston offense. With everything seemingly against the Colts, they still pulled out a win against the Texans 20-17, but not without a little drama. With one second left, the Texans had a shot at overtime when kicker Kris “Don't Confuse Me With The Other Chris” Brown took the field hoping to tie the game with a 42 yard field goal. The snap, the hold, the kick…wide left. The Colts escape with their undefeated record intact, and the Texans leave Indianapolis kicking themselves because essentially they had the game in their grasp. Peyton Manning had an okay performance, going 30/54 (40 attempts in the first half) for 318 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Joseph Addai lead the Colts in rushing with 63 yards on 14 attempts with 1 TD. Tight end Dallas Clark was the star of the game in my opinion, catching 14 passes for 119 yards and converting on many 3rd down conversions for the Colts. For the Texans, Matt Schaub had a decent day for the Texans, going 32/43 for 311 yards with 1TD and 2 INT's. Ryan Moats led the way in the rushing department, gaining 38 yards on 16 attempts. Wide receiver Andre Johnson had another stellar game receiving, catching 10 balls for 103 yards.
I would say there were two big stories from the past Sunday's game. The first one is the amount of penalties committed by the Houston Texans. The Texans committed a total of 13 penalies, costing them 103 yards (the same amount of yards that Andre Johnson had receiving). Not only did the Texans commit a lot of penalites, not only did it cost them a lot of yards, but most of them allowed the Colts to continue drives. Seven out of the thirteen Houston penalities allowed the Colts to gain first downs and continue drives that would have otherwise ended. I understand that Kris Brown missed a pretty easy kick, but in my opinion the Texans have nobody to blame other than themselves for the loss because of the penalites they committed. The second big story of the game is how well the Colts defense played considering that three of their best players were on the sideline due to injury. Cornerback Marlin Jackson, linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and safety Bob Sanders were all out due to injury. Personally I thought that the Colts were going to be scored on in bunches during this game, but I was proved wrong. The Colts defense only allowed 81 yards on the ground, and kept Matt Schaub and the passing attack relatively at bay. Schaub was able to get 300 yards in the air, but the Colts D forced him to throw two costly interceptions. More importantly, the Colts defense didn't allow any big plays from the Houston offense, something that the Colts D has been susceptible to in previous weeks.
One glaring weakness in the Colts performance was their lack of a running game yet again. They were only able to muster up 72 yards on the ground, this performance will probably put them lower on the list as far as rushing offense in the NFL. Now you can even tell that the team is not particularly confident in their run game seeing that Peyton Manning threw the ball 40 times in the first half. They drastically need to get some balance to their offense, because they've got some tough teams coming up, including a date this week with the New England Patriots. Hopefully rookie running back Donald Brown can come back this week to give Joseph Addai and the Colts offense some help.
The Colts came out of another close game with a 0 in their loss column. The Colts this week really have no time to catch their breath, because in come the 6-2 New England Patriots led by Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker. Can the Colts come up with another gutsy performance at home and beat their most hated rival. Time will tell and tune in Friday when I take a look at the matchups.
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Written by Andrew Gifford