Week 1, Houston did the improbable: they beat the Indianapolis Colts. This week, Houston has the chance to do something that they could have never dreamed of: sweep the Colts. As awesome as this sounds its going to be extremely difficult. Peyton Manning hates losing and will be out for revenge. It sure doesnt help that Houstons secondary is constantly exposed. Houston on the other hand will look to replicate the success they had on the ground with the NFL surprise star this season, Arian Foster. This week will be a battle of offenses on opposite ends. Can Houston run to victory like they did last time or will Peyton prove why hes one of the best QB ever? Houstons Running Game vs. Indys Run D: The Colts run defense has never really been one of the best in the league and this year is no different. Its what let Houston win the game week 1. Freeney and Mathis always seem to be coming up field so to counter this Indy has gotten bigger in the middle with Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir. Johnson is a bit sluggish and more of a traditional NT while Muir can move around and is pretty athletic for his size. However, neither one has been impressive this season. The Colts linebackers have some consistency going for them as they have all 3 starters returning this season. Brackett will man the middle again and is the leader of the group. Clint Sessions will start at WLB and is the most explosive of the group. Phillip Wheeler is athletic, but still trying to find his place on the defense. He is a solid player though and shouldnt be overlooked. Houston destroyed Indy on the ground and best believe they are going to try to replicate that. The offensive line did a great job leaving Foster with running lanes that let him get to the second level at almost full speed. Granted, Indy has film on what went wrong and can try to fix it, but I still think Foster will have another good game like he has the majority of the season. Houstons Passing Game vs. Indys Pass D: Bob Sanders? Out. Melvin Bullitt? Out. Aaron Francisco is starting in his spot and wasnt even on the roster 3 weeks ago. However the Colts do have 3 legitimate starting caliber CBs now in Kelvin Hayden, Jacob Lacey, and Jerraud Powers. Hayden has been around for several years and is the veteran of the group. Powers and Lacey are both second year players who more than stepped up their rookie years (Powers picked off Schaub). Powers is definitely on his game this season and has his seen fair share of action. Rounding out the secondary is free safety Antoine Bethea. He has great awareness and is athletic enough to make plays downfield. Hes got to step up with no decent starter at strong safety. Of course, their pass defense isnt complete without mentioning Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Both Freeney and Mathis are undersized but extremely quick and athletic; they have combined for 8.5 sacks thus far. For Houston, I wouldnt be surprised if they open up the passing game more than they did last as I think Indy plays the run more than last time. With Francisco at Safety, Houston has the opportunity to get vertical. It also helps that Owen Daniels is more involved in the offense again. If Indy starts cheating up, Houston needs to get vertical. Theres definitely no way Schaub is throwing only 17 passes in a game, I can guarantee that (barring injury). Indys Running Game vs. Houstons Run D: If the Colts have one area that they need to improve on, its their running game. They rank 25th in the NFL and have one of the worst averages. Joseph Addai is the one RB on the roster thats been decent and reliable so far. Hes spent too much time dancing around instead of hitting the hole with authority. Donald Brown is the other RB who will see time and he didnt have the rookie season many were expecting. He hasnt done much this season and has been injured for part of it. Mike Hart is the other RB who could see some time in a pinch, but Im not a big fan of his. Hes not very big and isnt overly fast. Addai should see the majority of the runs this week as long as hes healthy. Hes been the most productive so theres no reason for him not to. For Houston, this should be the easy part. The Colts are ranked first in passing offense and Houston ranks dead last so Peyton and the Colts will most likely focus on that area. Houstons run defense is also pretty solid and has ranked in the top half of the league all season long. The best plan for Houston will be to make the running game non-existent. If they can do this, they can focus more on the passing game and keep Indy in 3rd and long and pray that one of the kiddy corners makes a play. Indys Passing Game vs. Houstons Pass D: Were all fully aware of the Colts passing game as is the rest of the NFL. Peyton Manning is amazing and makes defenses pay whether it is on a short 5 yard screen or a deep post route. It all starts with Reggie Wayne, who has been Mannings go to WR for years. Hes a playmaker who can take a slant all the way, win the jump ball in the end zone or go deep as well. Next in line at WR is Pierre Garcon followed by Austin Collie. Garcon proved to be a consistent deep threat and is finally starting to get going again this season after a slow start. Austin Collie is deadly over the middle and is having a breakout season ranking 12th in the NFL in receiving yards. Lucky for Houston, Dallas Clark is out for the rest of the season so there isnt as big a threat at tight end. This all of course isnt including Addai who they always will dump the ball off to if in trouble. The bad news is there really isnt a set way on how to stop the Colts passing attack; the best you can hope for is to slow them down or keep their offense off the field completely. For Houston, the best bet will be to get in Mannings face and make them throw the ball quickly. Houston arguably has the worst set of corners in the league that are allowing over 300 yards per game. Houston needs to be ready because Manning is going to come after the secondary. POSITION BATTLE QB Advantage: INDIANAPOLIS RB Advantage: HOUSTON WR Advantage: INDIANAPOLIS TE Advantage: HOUSTON OL Advantage: PUSH DL Advantage: INDIANAPOLIS LB Advantage: PUSH CB Advantage: INDIANAPOLIS S Advantage: PUSH K/P Advantage: INDIANAPOLIS RET Advantage: HOUSTON X-FACTOR: Arian Foster, RB This is who I chose as X Factor week 1 and this is definitely the X Factor this week as well. He torched the Colts with 231 yards and kept the game out of reach for even Peyton Manning. Houston was able to grind out the win on the ground much like they did in 2006. If they want to beat the Colts, they know what they must do. They need to run out the clock and win the game by running the ball on the ground. While Foster is the X Factor, Derrick Ward will definitely play a part as well in trying to replicate the week 1 success. KEYS TO THE GAME 1) Get pressure on Peyton Manning. For as long as we play the Colts, this will be on here (it was the week 1 preview). Manning rarely gets pressured and because of this he always gets the opportunity to gash every defense he plays. When he does get sacked and pressured, he does get out of rhythm and he will make mistakes from time to time. It takes a lot to rattle Manning though so its something that Houston needs to stick with. At the very least, pressuring him gives him less time to try and go deep. 2) Keep the Colts offense off the field. This was the blueprint to the Texans victory from 2006 and also the week 1 victory. The Texans had long, lengthy drives that lasted almost half of a quarter and in turn, Peyton could do nothing. If Houston lets him in the game, he will make them pay. If hes on the sidelines, he cant score points and theres also an outside chance he could go cold. It also cant hurt to wear down the Colts in case the game comes down to the end. 3) Avoid giving up the big play. Teams have dinked and dunked Houston, but its the big play that always seems to kill Houston. They just cant find a way to avoid giving up the deep ball down field. Against a team like Indianapolis that can make a big play look effortless, Houston will need to be on its game. The worst possible thing they can do is give Peyton Manning easy points and let them run away with this game.