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smitty46953
09-22-2007, 12:19 PM
Smitty’s 2007 COLTS Preview



Week Three


Indianapolis Colts (2-0) @ Houston Texans (2-0)
Date & Time: Sunday September 23, 2007 @ 1:00 pm est.
TV: CBS (Regional) HD
Radio: WFBQ Q-95 (94.7 FM)
Where:
Reliant Stadium
One Reliant Park,
Houston, TX 77054
Capacity: 71,500
Surface: Grass
Odds: Colts -6.5 Over/Under 47.5
Last Meeting: Colts 24 @ Texans 27 (12/24/2006)

Our defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts needed a defensive stop last weekend in order to preserve a close 22-20 win over our AFC South rival the Tennessee Titans. They could be tested again this weekend as they visit the 2-0 upstart Houston Texans. The Texans are shooting for their first 3-0 start in franchise history. The Texans will be fired up to be able to have the biggest game in franchise history take place at Reliant Stadium. Memories of defeating the Colts, 27-24, last season at home are still fresh in their minds and their fans.

Last Weeks Games:

The Colts wereheld to six points in the second half last Sunday, allowing the Tennessee Titans to pull within two points before their final drive. The Colts defense held Tennessee to 18 yards on eight plays before collapsing on Vince Young to force a botched lateral on fourth down. The Colts recovered the errant lateral and held on for a too close for comfort 22-20 win. Our defense stepped up and saved the day but who could not forget last season’s sixty yard field goal and the last second loss to the Titans.

In this game Peyton Manning completed 28 of 42 passes for 312 yards with a touchdown pass to Tight End Dallas Clark and one interception. Marvin Harrison caught six passes for 87 yards while Reggie Wayne added five receptions for 70 yards. The Colts rushing attack was led by Joseph Addai who rushed twenty times for 81 yards and a touchdown.

The Texans bid for its first 2-0 start ever was in danger last Sunday, when the Texans fell behind the Carolina Panthers 14-0 in the first quarter. However Houston scored the next 34 points in the 34-21 win, setting a franchise record for most points scored in a game. Texan Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, both to Wide Receiver Andre Johnson who had seven receptions for 120 yards against the Carolina Panthers. Texan Tight End Owen Daniels added five receptions for 58 yards. Running Back Ahman Green rushed fifteen times for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Texans Keys for Success:

1. Keep the Colt Offense on the sidelines: Texan Quarterback Schaub must take his time breaking the huddle and milk every second off the clock on every snap. Green and Dayne have the size and power to wear down the Colts' smaller defensive line and move the chains. Manning cannot hurt the Texans if he is standing on the sideline. The closer the game is in the fourth quarter, the greater the impact Houston's home-field advantage will play.


2. Test Colts left tackle Tony Ugoh: Houston defensive end “Super” Mario Williams will be sent off the edge and asked to generate pressure from Manning's blind side. After all, his pass-rush ability was the primary reason the Texans selected him No. 1 overall in the '06 draft. So far the rookie from Arkansas left Tackle Tony Ugoh has done a decent job of stepping in for Tarik Glenn, but he still is a rookie. Expect the Texans defensive coordinator to test Ugoh from the get go.


3. Force Colts to kick field goals: The Colts will move the ball and score points with elite weapons at every skill position and a smart offensive line. But Houston has to make it tough for them inside the 20. The Texans can not sit back in zone coverage and let Manning pick them apart. Their defense must buckle down in the red zone and challenge the Colts' receivers to keep them from scoring. Forcing what appeared to be a somewhat flustered Adam Vinatieri to kick field goals.

Colts Keys for Success:

1. Utilize Bob Sanders in the box: With Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson out with a knee injury, Sanders won’t be needed as much in pass coverage. By playing closer up in the box basically as a fourth linebacker, Sanders will be free to roam and play the run first. Ahman Green and Ron Dayne deliver a decent 1-2 punch, however the Colts defense figures to tighten against the run as the Texans find themselves without a true deep threat. Sanders will help neutralize the run and force Schaub to find a new go-to guy in the passing game. The Texans tight end Owen Daniels appears to be Schaub's next favorite receiver.

2. Manning should attack Demarcus Faggins: The Colts Peyton Manning needs to look for Faggins and challenge him rather than Dunta Robinson, who is rapidly becoming one of the leagues best cover corners. Colt receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison both create instant mismatches against Faggins. Last week, the Panthers' Steve Smith blew by Faggins for two touchdowns. Faggins lacks the speed or acceleration to consistently cover either of the Indianapolis' wide receivers. Without safety help, Faggins is a sitting duck.

3. Establish the run: The Texans' run defense allows only 69 yards per game, but the Colts average 122 yards rushing per game. The Colts want to remain balanced in their attack. Something will need to give here. "Balanced" for the Colts is 60 percent pass, 40 percent run. By staying balanced, Indianapolis will prevent Houston from dropping extra defenders into coverage where they are playing at a disadvantage, and Manning can pick them apart.

Series History: This will be the 11th meeting, with the Colts leading the series 9 games to 1. Houston's only win in the series came last season as the Texans pulled out a 27-24 victory at Reliant Stadium on Dec. 24, 2006. The Texans Kicker Kris Brown's 43-yard field goal as time expired proved to be the difference for Houston in last year's win. The Colts posted a 43-24 win at the RCA Dome in the first meeting of the two teams last year.


My Take: This game can go a couple of different ways, but it won't. If the Texans cannot make up for the loss of Andre Johnson it could get ugly early. We have looked a little more stout so far against the run. Last year the Texans kicked us while we were down and snagged their only victory EVER against the Colts. We have somewhat changed our defensive pressure only strategy and closed the gaps better while meeting the ball carriers with multiple bodies not just one. The Texans secondary is a little beat up. Having to replace both Safeties is not easy this early in the season. This could spell doom against our Colts if you are forced try to match us score for score. How can this Texans secondary contain Harrison, Wayne, Gonzo, Clark, Utecht, and Addai? The Colts defensively match up well against an undermanned Texans Receiver group. I have been impressed with the Colts newcomer Ed Johnson at defensive tackle and Freddy Keiaho who I hope is available this weekend. The Indianapolis Defense swarms to the ball, gang-tackles, and is one of the quicker defenses in the league. Although we are undersized, we do not seem to be afraid to hit.

Time management is crucial for the Texans. I do look for Ahman Green to have nice day but nothing outrageous like Dayne did last year. Without Andre Johnson, the Texans have no major threats. Yes Houston you do have a problem and I see this one getting away from you fast. The Colts will be a little hungry for revenge and the Texans do not have the personnel to get the job done. Yes you have a few emerging players on D, a good young QB, decent RB, but not enough weapons to get it done, especially without Johnson... :gun:


Smitty’s Prediction:


Colts 34 Texans 10

FirstTexansFan
09-22-2007, 12:32 PM
I just hope your players and coaching staff are as overconfident as yourself. We have many weapons other than Andre Johnson. Win or lose, this game is going to be a growing experience for our QB and wide receivers, and can do nothing but help us down the road. Love the connection AJ and Schaub have established, but to be a great team, we need a QB looking at all options, and this game gives us that opportunity. I believe we'll grind the ball out on you guys similar to last year, and win it in a close fought game.

24 - 21 on a late Kris Brown FG :)

smitty46953
09-22-2007, 12:45 PM
I just hope your players and coaching staff are as overconfident as yourself. We have many weapons other than Andre Johnson. Win or lose, this game is going to be a growing experience for our QB and wide receivers, and can do nothing but help us down the road. Love the connection AJ and Schaub have established, but to be a great team, we need a QB looking at all options, and this game gives us that opportunity. I believe we'll grind the ball out on you guys similar to last year, and win it in a close fought game.

24 - 21 on a late Kris Brown FG :)


I hate getting beat on last second field goals I would rather you pummel us early than get beat that way...Anyway best of luck Sunday and here is to a injury free hard hitting game... :wild: I am not really over confident ...Honest :cool:

TexansLucky13
09-22-2007, 12:54 PM
Smitty’s Prediction:


Colts 34 Texans 10

You have a good analysis up there, but your predicted score is a bit silly. Your offense hasn't changed very much in the past few years, and our defense is improving. The Colts will not score more than 24 points at Reliant.

I am not sold on the Colts defense. You shut down an overrated Saints team and then almost lost to the Tacks. The group is definitely talented, but I am not sure that they have improved enough to say that we will only score 10 points. Our rushing attack is improved with Ahman Green, and we still have Ron Dayne.... the guy who destroyed you last season. The difference now is that we have Matt Schaub, who provides a reliable passing attack. Without Andre, we will be focusing more on Jacoby and Owen Daniels. The Colts are particularly weak in the pass defense versus an agile TE. Owen Daniels is a mismatch to all of your LB's.

I expect Special Teams to play a huge part in this game. Jacoby took two to this house in the pre-season and is ready for a real one. Mathis has returned a TD on your before, so I know you are familiar with his abilities.

Texans - 27
Colts - 17

BattleRedToro
09-22-2007, 12:59 PM
Mr. T's Prediction: "My prediction? ....Pain!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hykyX-LwRwI&mode=related&search=)

"You ready for another beatin' ? You should've never came back!"

smitty46953
09-22-2007, 01:04 PM
You have a good analysis up there, but your predicted score is a bit silly. Your offense hasn't changed very much in the past few years, and our defense is improving. The Colts will not score more than 24 points at Reliant.

I am not sold on the Colts defense. You shut down an overrated Saints team and then almost lost to the Tacks. The group is definitely talented, but I am not sure that they have improved enough to say that we will only score 10 points. Our rushing attack is improved with Ahman Green, and we still have Ron Dayne.... the guy who destroyed you last season. The difference now is that we have Matt Schaub, who provides a reliable passing attack. Without Andre, we will be focusing more on Jacoby and Owen Daniels. The Colts are particularly weak in the pass defense versus an agile TE. Owen Daniels is a mismatch to all of your LB's.

I expect Special Teams to play a huge part in this game. Jacoby took two to this house in the pre-season and is ready for a real one. Mathis has returned a TD on your before, so I know you are familiar with his abilities.

Texans - 27
Colts - 17

I should add this to my predictions... I have Win 4 and Lose 0 on a Colts board at the local pub... I always predict this score regardless of opponent. Yes, your return game scares me a bit... :cool:

ObsiWan
09-22-2007, 01:26 PM
I should add this to my predictions... I have Win 4 and Lose 0 on a Colts board at the local pub... I always predict this score regardless of opponent. Yes, your return game scares me a bit... :cool:

It should, after what Devin Hester did to y'all in the Super Bowl. That's a weakness for the Colts.
:shades:

Texans_Chick
09-22-2007, 01:49 PM
I think the most surprising statistics to most in the NFL are the ones found here (and don't differ that much with how the 1st teams played in the preseason):

Football Outsiders Efficiency Stats (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teameff.php)

Something that people aren't looking at as it relates to Johnson's injury is how well Schaub could move the ball around in the preseason to receivers other than AJ. Obviously, having him on the field changes a lot, but I really think Houston is trying to create a plug and play offense.

They did this against decent defenses, such as the Bears and Cowboys. Not surprisingly, some of the sportswriters who were earliest in promoting the Texans were from Chicago and Dallas.

In addition, if you look at the quality of the wins of the 2-0 teams, the Patriots and Texans may have had the most impressive wins. Not that they necessarily beat the best teams, but rather that the teams they beat, they beat handily.

Ultimately, the Colts are the SB champs and have a history of quality wins, and the Texans are without their best player, but the Texans have beaten some pretty good teams in the past with far worse talent, schemes and ability, especially at home.

It is like going to be Cowboy-Texans 2002 loud.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

TexansLucky13
09-22-2007, 01:49 PM
It should, after what Devin Hester did to y'all in the Super Bowl. That's a weakness for the Colts.
:shades:

That was the best part of the Super Bowl. Other than that, it was boring as heck. At least the Patriots always had great Super Bowls.

:shades:

Dppapi08
09-22-2007, 01:58 PM
I should add this to my predictions... I have Win 4 and Lose 0 on a Colts board at the local pub... I always predict this score regardless of opponent. Yes, your return game scares me a bit... :cool:

soooo you think your cool now?:cool:

BattleRedToro
09-22-2007, 02:00 PM
That was the best part of the Super Bowl. Other than that, it was boring as heck. At least the Patriots always had great Super Bowls.

:shades:

Especially when the Patriots played the Bears. :d:

Marcus
09-22-2007, 03:04 PM
2. Manning should attack Demarcus Faggins:

Heh, well if he didn't, something would be wrong with his head. Faggins couldn't cover the toilet lid with his own ass.

If he's got the time to take advantage of it, he certainly will. That's where the front 4 comes into play. If they can't get pressure . . .

then 34 - 10 wouldn't be a surprise.

Thorn
09-22-2007, 04:03 PM
[SIZE="4"]Smitty’s Prediction:


Colts 34 Texans 10



http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-6/739321/potcat.jpg

TheCD
09-22-2007, 04:23 PM
As I've said before, this is going to come down to Matt Schaub. We will find out in this game exactly what we've gotten out of our 2 2nd round picks, and I think we'll be pleasantly surprised.

Mark my words: This game will be won on Matt's ability to utilize his receivers exactly as they should be. In otherwords, Walters and Daniels have to move the chains. Green and Dayne have to be effective on the screen/swing passes to keep the defense from staying back, and THEN we can use JJ or JM on the big play.

It is essential that we keep Peyton off the field. But we will HAVE to have one quick drive to keep the Colts on their toes. If we can get a good, big-play, 2-3 play drive, and have a consistent pass rush, I think we can force Peyton into making a mistake as he's not used to having to play catch-up against us.