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Colts Disrupt Texans’ Gamplan, Take Advantage of Weaknesses

Gary Brackett (58) returns an interception thrown by Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub

The Houston Texans came into Sunday game planning to control the clock and keep the Colts off the field, but the reigning NFL champion Indianapolis Colts knew how to beat the Texans. The Colts kept the ball in the air, and attacked the Texans’ defense where it hurt.

Peyton Manning’s signature play calling and no-huddle offense kept the inexperienced defensive back units on the field and guessing while Manning accurately passed all over the Texans secondary. But the Texans didn’t fold under pressure like the team from years past. It was HC Gary Kubiak and the composed QB Matt Schaub who accurately got the Texans back into the game.

After the opening kick off that was returned for a touchdown by KR/WR Jerome Mathis the Texans looked to get off to a strong start, but the Texans were soon slowed by inexperience and injuries. Ahman Green went down midway through the first quarter and left the game early into the second quarter with a reoccurring left knee injury. Eight minutes into the second quarter, Cedric Killings, the re-signed DT playing special teams, went down with a severe neck injury that quieted Reliant Stadium.

The Texans spirit looked to fall into the next play when FB Vonta Leech dropped an open pass on the left side of the field, but the Texans offense and defense never quit in this big home game test. The Colts’ conservative passing mixed play action plays and Joseph Addai runs that allowed the native Houstonian to score two rushing touchdowns with 72 yards on 22 carries. Manning displayed why he is the best quarterback playing the game today.

He passed all around the area of newly acquired S Michael Boulware, highlighted with Manning’s first passing touchdown that lured the safety to the line of scrimmage leaving Colts TE Dallas Clark with an over pass go route touchdown in front of the goal post in the back of the end zone. Boulware, who was questioned about his coverage abilities in Seattle, was not the only Texan to be beat by Manning’s receiving corps. DB Demarcus “Petey” Faggins gave up plays last week to Steve Smith (two touchdowns in the first quarter), and this week to what seemed to feel like every Colts WR. The secondary definitely needs work as Faggins gave up plays that may have stopped the offensively powerful Colts from winning the game.

Through hard times these new Texans never seem to give up. They worked a hard uphill battle in the third quarter as they went down 27-10. Schaub led the way for a Texans comeback. Andre Davis, an ex-Hoakie, stepped up in the absence of Andre Johnson, injured with a knee sprain, and Jacoby Jones, who hurt his arm on a punt return in the final six minutes of the third quarter. FB Jameel Cook and RB Samkon Gado managed 27 yards on 11 carries. Gado, who replaced the injured Ahman Green and inactive Ron Dayne, rushed the only Texans rushing touchdown this week.

Keeping the Texans hopes up, Shaub displayed excellent accuracy into the final quarter. Schaub completed 14 straight passes on a 75-yard drive with less than 2:30 left in the game to Owen Daniels and Andre Davis that was capitalized when FB Leech scored the reception touchdown to bring the Texans within 6. The Colts managed to control the clock long enough for a one play try by Schaub, that, which resulted in a game-ending sack..

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