Since we discussed this match up less than a month ago–here is the Week 9 preview and review of the Colts/Texans first game this season– and there is an overabundance of leftovers calling your name from the fridge, I will keep this short and simple. The only things that have changed since the Indianapolis Colts hosted the Houston Texans in Lucas Oil Stadium at the beginning of November are a few numbers.
Heading into their first meeting Week 9, so much of the hype surrounding the Indianapolis and Houston game was based on the fact that the Texans were 5-3 and looked as though they were on the cusp of finally becoming a real playoff contender. The only thing standing in their way from a bevy of franchise firsts–check Week 9 preview for said bevy– was an untested, undefeated Indianapolis Colts team that they have struggled against since the beginning of time…that is Houston’s beginning of time. Well if you are reading this than you more than likely know that the Colts pulled out a 20-17 victory and the Texans were left pulling out their hair.
So the changing numbers I am referring to are the three straight losses the Texan have suffered, starting with the defeat in downtown Indianapolis, which now has them sitting at 5-5 and third in the AFC South. The collective subconscious of Houston is already starting to think, “just wait until next year.”
Also since Week 9, Houston quarterback Matt Schaub has gone from first to fourth in total passing yards, while Peyton Manning is now the high man on that totem pole with 3171 yards through the air. Directly linked the the afformentioned signal-callers stats is Houston wide out Andre Johnson who went from first in receiving yards to third. Taking over the top spot is Indianapolis sports fan favorite Reggie Wayne with 968- yards so far.
In what many experts predicited would be the defining game for the Texans’ franchise they got exactly what they predicted. What better defines the Houston Texans than a 20-17 loss on a last second field goal attempt that would have sent the game to overtime? They are close, but they are not there yet.
Plenty of “experts” are saying that this is the week that the Indianapolis Colts will have their undefeated streak come to an end. Even I stated a month ago that the Colts would lose one of thier next four games. And since they won the first three of those games it is easy to deduce that this is the one that ends up in the loss column. Well forget all of that.
The Colts are going to win this weekend and that is all there is to it. Not because they are destined for an undefeated season–if they can wrap up the #1 seed in the AFC, Jim Caldwell is going to pull a page out of the Tony Dungy playbook and start resting starters–but the Texans are not only going against the Colts, but also the ghosts of seasons past. They are in a mini-freefall with the calssic, “here we go again” feeling of ultimate failure. I can recognize this feeling very well for I am a New York Mets fan.
Also, what have the Colts done lately to make so many people think that they won’t win on Sunday? They now have four straight fourth quarter come-from-behind victories, the Colts defense has come up big in key moments all season long and oh yeah, the Blue Horseshoes are 14-1 lifetime against Houston. Yes that one loss did come in Houston’s Reliant Stadium, and the last three games these two teams played in Texas have a combined score of 85-78 in favor of Indy, but the Colts haven’t even played their best football yet.
I have been harping on the fact that since their Week 6 bye, the Indianapolis Colts have been unable to put together four consecutive quarters of solid offense. While this was originally a concern, the fact that they are still undefeated playing at 60-75% capacity on offense is nothing but exciting. After all, if you wanted to root for a team that peaked offensively in November and disappeared in December and January you would be a Dallas Cowboy fan.
Yes this game means more to the Texans on virtually every level, but sometimes needing it just is not enough. It seems as though the Texans have modeled themselves after the Indianapolis Colts. They went out and got a franchise quarterback(they hope), they have a top-5 receiver in Johnson, a pyshical jack-of-all-trades tight end( sort of, Owen Daniels blew out his knee in Week 8 and won’t be back until next year) and a running game that is up and down week to week.
If you are from a family in which you are a younger sibling you can totally relate. Everytime you went against one of your big brothers/sisters in any sort of competition you felt like this was the day you would come out on top. You wanted it more, you thought about it more, you may have even been more gifted in your choosen field of competition, but it always came down to the fact that they have been doing it longer and better than you. Peyton Manning is an older brother…just saying.
Some of the particulars to watch out for this weekend are Dallas Clark, Dwight Freeney and Kris Brown. The last time these teams tussled, Dallas Clark set a career high in receptions with 14 and was a headache all day long for Houston. You will know early on if the Texans have come up with an answer for Clark. If not he will continue to get the ball early and often, if Houston shuts him down, look for Peyton to go virtical down the sidelines to Wayne, Peirre Garcon and Austin Collie.
Dwight Freeney has been held sack free his last two games, and he and fellow bookend sack master Robert Mathis have only one sack between the two over the last eight quarters of Colts football. Translation: I pray for you Matt Schaub, I really do.
On the Texans side of the coin, with games between these divisional rivals coming down to the wire in recent years, they are secretly hoping that the game does not come down to a last second field goal attempt. Normally big-footed sure shooting Houston kicker Kris Brown has turned shank-a-potamus as of late. Not only did he push a would be game tying 42-yarder wide left against the Colts in Week 9, he had a chance to push Monday night’s game against the Tennesssee Titans to overtime as well. From 49-yards out with :01 left on the clock the only thing Brown pushed was the attempt wide left for a final of 20-17, amazing how history repeats itself.
So there you have it, on a Thanksgiving holidiay weekend filled with so many traditions, look for the Colts to extend a tradition of their own. Winning against the Houston Texans. The Indianapolis Colts kick off in Houston at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday and Hoosiers all over Indiana can find the game on TV’s CBS WISH TV or on the radio dial at 97.1 Hank FM.
Check back with us here at funcityfinder.com on Monday when we will give you a full run down of the Colts/Texans Week 12 game. So don’t worry if you miss a play or two because your turkey gut got in the way, we’ve got your back.