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12-22-2011, 11:28 AM
Three to Focus On: Texans @ Colts, Week 16
December 22nd, 2011 | Author: Nathan Jahnke

When this game was put on the schedule, Iím positive that there were hopes that both teams would have a winning record and be fighting for the division title. Peyton Manning vs. Matt Schaub has made for some interesting games in the past, so back in April this matchup sure looked intriguing. Unfortunately, like most of the games that have ended up on Thursday Night Football, there is one clear favorite. T.J. Yates against Dan Orlovsky doesnít quite have the same ring to it either, but weíll work with what we have.

The Texans are in need of a Ravens loss or a Patriots collapse in both games in order to get a first-round bye. While that is unlikely to happen, it is still enough to give Houston a reason to give it their all against their division rival. Also lurking in the minds of the Texans is the fact that they havenít won a single game in Indianapolis since their inception, losing by an average score of 33-17. The Colts were one of many teams to play spoiler last week, and they really hurt the Titansí chances. Can they play spoiler to yet another team in the division? Here are the three matchups to help answer that question.

Texans Offensive Tackles vs. Colts Defensive Ends
When you look at the Coltsí defensive page, you see a lot of defensive ends and linebackers who arenít the best in run defense or rushing the passer, and linebackers and defensive backs who are below average in coverage. There are a few exceptions to the case, and the biggest two are Robert Mathis (+9.7 pass rush) and Dwight Freeney (+16.4 pass rush) at defensive end. Neither is as dominate as they once were, but with seven sacks and eight hits each, they are still a force to be reckoned with. In their first game against the Texans (Week 1), they had a combined six pressures.

They might have even more problems getting pressure this time around, as Duane Brown (+9.5) and Eric Winston (+11.5) make up one of the best duos of offensive tackles in the league. On the left side, Brown has yet to allow a sack, and has allowed just four overall pressures in the past six games which is incredible. On the right side, Winston allowed 14 pressures in the first six games and just nine pressures in the last eight. Itís not a good sign for the Colts that the Texans have the exact answer for the Colts defensive weapons.

Reggie Wayne vs. Texans Secondary
You donít need me to tell you how good Reggie Wayne (+4.8 receiving) has been for most of the past decade. As you would expect, his play has dropped off some without Peyton Manning to deliver him the ball. While Pierre Garcon (-3.6) has more catches, yards and touchdowns, he also has significantly more dropped passes as well as more fumbles which leads me to believe Wayne is still the best offensive option the Colts have. One of his best games of the season was Week 1 against the Texans; he had one of his two 100-yard performances this season in that game and caught one of his three touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see if he can repeat his performance or even improve upon it. He will likely see a lot of Johnathan Joseph (+10.2) who had one of his worst games of the year last week, allowing all four balls thrown his way to be caught for 71 yards and a touchdown. In the first matchup, Glover Quin (+3.2 coverage) also was on Wayne for a number of passes. He consistently allows a few catches for 30-40 total yards per game, but also has seven passes defended which is tied for fourth amongst safeties. The Coltsí best chance could very well be having Wayne have another good game.

Texans Run Game vs. Colts Run Defense
The most notable part of the Coltsí victory against Tennessee was their dominance in run defense. They allowed just 3.4 yards per run which is well below league average of 4.25 on the year. They were led by Pat Angerer (+6.3 last week) with seven stops, as well as an interception and pass deflection. It will be a lot more difficult this week, as they will see a lot of Arian Foster (+16.0) who is coming off of a 109-yard performance on 16 carries last week against the Panthers. If Indianapolis wants to get on a two-game winning streak, their run defense will need to step up even more to put a halt to the Texansí biggest weapon.


12-22-2011, 01:10 PM
Thanks again for posting...

I checked their breakdown of the Titans/Colts (http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/12/20/re-focused-titans-colts-week-15/) game and found this to be interesting....

Angerer Dominates
Where do I start with Pat Angererís (+6.3) performance on Sunday? Simply dominant in a way I never expected to see from the Coltsí middle linebacker, how dominant you ask? No MLB has graded higher in a single game this year. How he graded out so highly was easy to see as he was all over the field and came up with two huge plays in forcing a fumble and intercepting Matt Hasselbeck (-1.8) at the goal line with 7:28 left in the game. In total, he was thrown at six times, yielding just two catches for seven yards and the previously mentioned interception. Slightly better than his fellow linebacker Ernie Sims (-4.2 in coverage) who allowed 13 catches for 147 yards.

Is this guy really that good or did he just have a career day?

12-22-2011, 02:00 PM
I think he may be good.

12-22-2011, 04:58 PM
Thanks again for posting...

I checked their breakdown of the Titans/Colts (http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/12/20/re-focused-titans-colts-week-15/) game and found this to be interesting....

Is this guy really that good or did he just have a career day?

Pat Angerer is a good MLB. The problem with the Colts is like he's like a nice Ribeye that is sandwiched in between two moldy pieces of bread.