Week 2 Game Recap: Houston Texans 24, Indianapolis Colts 43
What you need to know
In the Texans’ short NFL history, they are 0-8 against the Colts and all indications before this game were that they would be hard pressed to be competitive. The first two minutes of this game bore that out. The Texans fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions and were 14 points down after 2:30 into the first quarter. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 30-3, largely due to lost fumbles by the Texans, their lack of offensive proficiency and the effectiveness of the Colts offense.
David Carr had an excellent game if you look at his passing statistics, completing 22 of 26 for 219 yards, no INTs and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, all of the scores came in the fourth quarter long after the game had been decided. His offensive line let him down in the first half, behaving more like a sieve than a professional group. Carr lost two fumbles, had another recovered by his teammates and was generally ineffective for the first 45 minutes.
The Texans’ running game was largely ineffective. The trio of Wali Lundy, Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado totaled 98 yards. Lundy lost a fumble too. Dayne was the most effective of the bunch, gaining 37 yards although Gado had the long run of 27 yards.
The defensive line did not pressure Manning all day long, until Jason Babin registered a sack in second half. Another sack was credited to Marlon Greenwood but only because he was the nearest Texan to Peyton Manning when he slid feet first to avoid contact.
DB Lewis Sanders and LT Charles Spencer were injured and did not return to the game. Ephraim Salaam replaced C Spencer whereas Lewis was replaced by Dexter McCleon.
Indianapolis was very efficient on offense, totaling 125 yards rushing and 400 yards passing. And it could have been better. A touchdown to Reggie Wayne was nullified by a holding penalty and RB Joseph Addai lost what looked like a close touchdown when his own offensive lineman caused a fumble at the goal line when he tried to push Addai into the end zone. Addai was by far the more efficient RB averaging 5.1 yards per carry whereas Rhodes averaged 2.6 yards per carry. Manning was his usual effective self, distributing passes to nine different receivers.
The defensive line harassed QB David Carr for the first three quarters before the starters were substituted. DE Robert Mathis had two sacks and two forced fumbles in the first quarter alone. Montae Reagor also had a sack and fumble recovery.
What you ought to know
|QB David Carr, Pass: 22 - 26 - 219 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0|
If all you looked at were Carr's passing statistics, you would think he played a great game, and you would be very wrong. He lost a fumble in the first two minutes of the game, he couldn't lead his team out of adversity until the fourth quarter, and his offensive line couldn't pass protect. It is not his fault that he is constantly under pressure; still some responsibility for the loss is on his shoulders for game management. Carr had a good game from a fantasy football standpoint, but a less than stellar one from an NFL view.
Dayne came on in the second quarter and provided an immediate charge to the Texans’ offense, helping to lead them to a field goal. He broke some good, short runs and was effective but never elusive. He had more attempts than any other RB so it remains to be seen if this heralds a change in the starting lineup.
Lundy lost a critical fumble in the first half that led to a Colts touchdown. He could not gain yards consistently even though he had a good 4.1 yards per carry. He may not retain his starting role after this game.
Cook is the blocking back in this offense whose primary purpose is to open holes for the RBs, pass protect and serve as a safety valve for Carr. Cook excelled at all those, too bad the rest of this team is not as proficient as he is.
|RB Samkon Gado, Rush: 3 - 36 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)|
Gado came on after Dayne and broke the longest run for a Texan in the game, a 27 yarder. He ran with some power but didn't get a lot of opportunities. He dropped one easy shuttle pass.
Johnson was Carr's favorite target, especially on third downs. He has a unique combination of size and speed that make him very difficult to cover and tackle. He used both of those qualities to score a TD in the fourth quarter.
Moulds did not make an impact on this game until the fourth quarter but he showed some speed and power after making catches. Once he is fully integrated into this offense, he should be a big threat opposite Andre Johnson.
Shepherd is the primary kickoff returner with Jerome Mathis on the PUP list. He also serves as the fourth WR and managed to catch one pass this game.
Walter made a token appearance and caught the only pass thrown his way to keep a drive alive. He might be the WR3 on the depth chart but was not targeted much during this game.
Daniels showed very good speed for a man his size, scoring on a 33 yard TD strike in early fourth quarter. He has very good hands, but needs work on his blocking. Daniels is obviously ahead of Putzier on the depth chart for now.
Bruener is the starting TE, largely because he is an excellent blocker. He has a reputation of not being a very good pass receiver but he managed to catch the only pass thrown his way for a short TD.
Putzier did not play as much as expected and is often used on seam routes or split wide. He is not a very good blocker, which is probably why he does not start.
Brown made his only FG and was 3-3 on PATs.
The Texans could not consistently stop the Colts' running game, especially Joseph Addai. They had better success against Dominic Rhodes though. Still the Colts gashed them for 123 rushing yards by the RBs. Much of that was setup by the passing game, which ultimately led to this lopsided score. The top four tacklers for the Texans were all defensive backs, which indicates that the front seven were consistently blocked.
The Colts shredded the Texans’ pass defense. Houston generated no pass rush in first half, which allowed Peyton Manning to pick them apart. The Colts WRs were consistently open, and passes were not contested. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne burned the Texans consistently. Then the TEs were open in the middle of the field when the safeties tried to help out the cornerbacks. In summary, a pathetic display.
|QB Peyton Manning, Pass: 26 - 38 - 400 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0|
Manning had the kind of game everyone expects from him, spreading the ball around amongst his teammates and controlling the line of scrimmage. Both Harrison and Wayne had huge games, each over 125 yards. Manning consistently picked apart the Texans’ defense with pinpoint passes. Someone seemed to be open on every play, and Manning consistently found that guy. He had one interception called back because of pass interference in the end zone.
|RB Joseph Addai, Rush: 16 - 82 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 1 (2 targets)|
Addai led the Colts in rushing, exhibiting good speed and elusiveness as his yards per carry indicates. He was much better running the ball than Dominic Rhodes. Addai scored a TD which was overturned and ruled a fumble which the Texans recovered, but one of his offensive linemen actually caused the fumble trying to force Addai into the end zone. He scored a 21 yard TD when two Texans collided and he outran his pursuers to the corner of the end zone.
Rhodes scored a touchdown on a short run. He worked hard and turned in a nice effort but did not consistently get long yardage. He was a very effective pass blocker for Manning and showed good hands and elusiveness on his pass receptions.
Carthon managed to get onto the field at end of the fourth quarter. He ran only three times and did not show anything while he was in the game.
Harrison was his usual self; he seemed to be open the entire game on crossing routes. He may have lost some speed but he is still very elusive in the open field, getting open with some great moves.
Wayne often lines up opposite Harrison with no other WR on his side of the field. He usually draws the second best DB and he makes them pay with his size and speed. Wayne is bigger than Harrison, not as quick and perhaps faster so they make a very dangerous duo. Wayne showed good run after the catch ability during this game, some of that was due to poor tackling.
Moorehead played most of the fourth quarter once the game was no longer in doubt. He is different than Harrison as he’s a tall, rangy WR with some speed but not as sneaky fast as Harrison.
Stokley came into this game with a sore ankle, caught the first TD pass of the game from Manning then was never heard from again.
Clark often lines up in the slot and works the seams and center of the field. He is fast for a TE and is often the short safety valve for Manning.
Like Dallas Clark, Fletcher often works the seams and middle of the field, which is how he scored his TD. The LB went with the crossing WR and allowed Fletcher to get behind him and between the safeties for a wide open TD.
Utecht only caught one pass but it was deep pass down middle of the field.
Vinatieri had one PAT blocked which was very unusual. He was his usual self on FG attempts.
The Texans never came close to mounting an effective running game in the first three quarters of this game. The Colts caused one fumble by Wali Lundy which led to a TD. Generally there were no lanes for the Texans RB because the LB's filled the gaps.
The Colts’ pass defense is predicated by an efficient, swarming pass rush by all four defensive linemen. The Colts got that in this game. DE Robert Mathis set the tone by getting two sacks and two forced fumbles of QB David Carr in the first two minutes of the game. The Colts ended up with four sacks total, and three fumble recoveries. They dominated the Texans, after three quarters the score was 30-3. Only after some of the Colts’ starters were substituted in the fourth quarter did the Texans score their last three TDs.