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Texans' Breakdown of Bills vs Colts preseason game
I just watched the Colts-Bills preseason game that I TIVO-ed from NFL Network. I know itís still really early in the preseason, but I figured it would be a good idea to scout out two of this yearís opponents, especially our season-opener. Here are my thoughts:
Not much to report. No Edge. No Harrison. No Wayne. No Stokley. No Dallas Clark. Why Peyton even played a series (0-1 with one sack in 3 plays) is beyond me. The one thing that did stand out was that Buffalo was able to get good pressure on the first team offensive line. That said, when Aaron Morehead is the Colts biggest on-field threat, itís a little easier to attack.
With Freeney on the sidelines, only two guys stood out, Bob Sanders and rookie Marlin Jackson. Bob was a monster in run support. He packs a huge wallop in a small package. Buffalo never really challenged him deep, so I didnít see him in coverage, but he can really play near the line of scrimmage.
Marlin looked the part of a Cover2 corner. Heís big and can hit. He was matched against Moulds and Evans and seemed to be okay. He laid a vicious hit on a back catching a pass out of the backfield. The knock on him coming out was his lack of super top-end speed, but with a safety almost always over the top itís not as huge an issue in Indyís scheme. Heís just a rookie, but if I was a Colts fan Iíd be excited about his future prospects after watching that game.
Going into this game, I really wanted to see JP Losman. He played all the way into the 3rd quarter, so I got to watch a lot of him. Heís mobile, has a big arm, and can be fairly accurate. He is, however, essentially a rookie QB and made rookie QB plays. He threw into triple-coverage more than once, he scrambled when he felt the slightest pressure, and he tried to force big plays when a veteran would just take the safe play. He really looks and plays like the old Bills & Jags quarterback Rob Johnson. He will give the Texans several turnover opportunities. However, when the Colts failed to get a pressure on him for a few plays in a row, he got into a little rhythm and completed a couple consecutive passes. What I wasnít expecting when watching the game was how badly the starting O-line for the Bills played. The Colts played only one regular D-line starter and were constantly putting pressure on Losman and prevented Buffaloís 1st string from ever getting on their rushing game on-track.
Yikes. These guys are all about one thing, ATTACK. They sent at least 5 guys on every down. They have an aggressive, veteran defense that relies on quick, constant pressure to force opponents into making questionable decisions. Takeo Spikes, Aaron Schobel, Jeff Posey, and Chris Kelsay are all athletic, quick, and solid tacklers. Two 330+ pound Ex-Aggies, Sam Adams and Ron Edwards, plugged the middle against the run and forced the Colts to run outside where their linebacker speed had an advantage. MLB London Fletcher and safeties Laywer Milloy and Troy Vincent arenít the athletes they once were, but never seemed to be out of position. The only real weakness seemed to be at cornerback, where after the hard-hitting Nate Clements (he literally lifted Domanic Rhodes off the ground on one tackle) there isnít a lot of depth. I bet the Texans use a lot of 3-wide to force them out of their base defense in week one. The Colts also got a big play by challenging Fletcher with a tall, fast tight end right down the middle.
Texans outlook on Indy:
Indyís offense will always be good as long as Peyton is at the helm. Indyís D looks to be more physical in the secondary. The Texans will need to pound the run, control the clock, and not turn the ball over to beat these guys.
Texans outlook on Buffalo:
To win on the road, the Texans have to run the ball effectively from the 3-wide set and not turn it over against a very good defense. Palmer has to have a great plan to keep Buffaloís constant barrage off of Carr and the O-line must step up and execute. The defense must plug the run, force Losman to make bad decisions, and make the interception when he throws a ball up for grabs. Losman is capable of making a big play with his feet, so the Texans canít allow him to escape and make a Bradlee Van Pelt-type run. Buffalo struggled to string together any really long drives, so field position will be important.
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