Week 10 Game Recap: Houston Texans 17, Indianapolis Colts 31
What you need to know
Carr was all but completely shut down in the game. The Colts sacked him three times, and pressured him all game. He opened the game almost as if Andre Johnson was the only Texans’ receiver on the field. As he forced balls to a double and triple covered Johnson, the offense couldn’t move. Carr spread the ball in the second half with little to no success. His best passes in the second half were dumps to TE Marcellus Rivers, and two nice first downs to the Texans’ fourth WR Derick Armstrong
RB Jonathan Wells was the lone bright spot for the entire Texans’ team with Carr and the passing offense struggling. Wells was able to move the chains and gain difficult yards. RB Vernand Morency did cut into Wells’ carries, but it was not for ineffectiveness.
WRs Andre Johnson and Jabar Gaffney struggled all game to get open and make a catch. Between them, these starting wide receivers finished with six total receptions on 13 targets.
After getting sacked on the opening drive, QB Peyton Manning was on fire. He went unchallenged both by the defensive line, and the defensive backfield. As the Texans would attempt to take a receiver out with additional coverage, Manning would simply switch to another wide receiver in his arsenal. Manning targeted each of his three starting wide receivers nine times, as he continued to spread the ball and move the chains. This was classic Manning.
Edgerrin James looked like a man among boys. He shredded the Texans’ rush defense on virtually every carry. He showed power, grace, vision, and balance as he continually moved the chains. Even when you thought he was stopped, James often found a few more yards before going down.
The Colts struggled on special teams. Dominic Rhodes, Jason David, and Marlin Jackson all fumbled kick returns. Two of the muffed kick returns resulted in Houston retaining the ball to keep drives alive.
What you ought to know
|QB David Carr, Pass: 16 - 25 - 138 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0|
This was a poor game for Carr as the Colts pressured him all game. He was sacked three times, and hurried often. Carr zoned in on Andre Johnson who was usually buried in coverage in the first half while the Texans were almost unable to move the ball in the air. Carr spread out the passing offense in the second half, looking for Gaffney with Johnson covered. The result wasn’t much better, although he did find other receivers to make some plays.
Wells started in place of Davis, rushing 15 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came as a carry off the left tackle where he pushed through, made a move, and plowed forward for the score. Since it was inside the two minute mark, the play was reviewed upstairs, and held up. Wells ran well, and was effective on an offense struggling to move the ball. He was certainly the bright spot for the Texans on the day. Morency did cut into his carries, but it was to spell Wells, not because he wasn’t running well.
Morency was used throughout the game, both rushing and receiving. He took a complete series gaining nine yards on first and second down, then stopped for no gain on third down. Morency was lined up as the running back on fourth and one, but a false start forced the Texans to punt. Morency seemed much more comfortable in the passing game than Wells.
Fullback Norris was used as a blocker.
Due to a knee injury, Davis was placed on the inactive list for this week's game.
Carr zoned in on Johnson in the first half, looking for him almost exclusively as he took over 55% of the total targets. The Colts simply piled up the coverage on Johnson, and the entire Houston offense struggled. This was a poor game for Johnson as he couldn’t find room, and was buried on every play. Johnson’s single carry was a left end around where he was dropped for a two yard loss.
Like the rest of the receivers, Gaffney did nothing in the first half as Carr was locked into a heavily covered Andre Johnson. His only target in the first half resulted in an incomplete pass. Gaffney started the second half well, catching a 13 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, Gaffney was only able to bring down one more reception finishing the second half with two catches on five targets. His touchdown will skew the results if only looking at fantasy points this week. Gaffney did not have a good game.
Armstrong got into the offense in the second half after little use in the first. With the Colts blanketing Andre Johnson, Armstrong caught two big receptions, both for first downs.
Bradford did play, but was not a factor in the offense.
Rivers caught two short gains in the second half with Carr looking to dump the ball off. It was encouraging to see Rivers capitalize on both passes with Carr under pressure, but they were nothing more than Carr getting rid of the ball. It’s unlikely that any trend comes out of this.
Bruener started the game, but was never used as anything more than a blocker.
Brown kicked a 24 yard FG and added two extra points.
The rush defense was dominated by Edgerrin James. It often took multiple defenders to bring him down.
The Texans sacked Manning in the first series, forcing the Colts to punt. Outside of a powerful tackle/hit on Wayne by RCB Dunta Robinson, the Texans’ pass defense was shredded by Manning and the Colts.
|QB Peyton Manning, Pass: 26 - 35 - 297 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0|
The Texans sacked Manning on the first possession forcing the Colts to punt. That was effectively the last time the Texans would slow down the Colts in the game. Manning went the rest of the way almost unpressured as he threw for just shy of 300 yards with three touchdowns. Manning spread the ball around of all three of his wide receivers with ease. As the Texans would try and shut down a receiver, Manning would find the next with little trouble. This was textbook Colts, as Manning was solid in the pocket, spread the ball, and moved the offense without contest.
James ran with power, seemingly turning every touch into a great run. At one point, James was all but stopped behind the line of scrimmage for a loss, but broke out for a 12 yard gain. It was like this all day. It looked easy for James, like he was running against a college team. James ended up with a monster day rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown. James was also effective in the passing attack, picking up another 26 yards on three receptions.
With Ran Carthon inactive, Mungro filled in at fullback.
Rhodes was active in the game, but was only used as a kick returner.
Wayne led the team in receptions, although most of his catches were in close to the line of scrimmage. Wayne did get separation from the defender, but most of his passes were quick timing patterns where Manning would get the ball to him in stride quickly after the snap. Wayne was used more in the first half when the Texans were seemingly trying to stick to a defensive plan of blanketing Harrison. Later in the game, when the Texans seemed to have abandoned any sense of a defensive plan, Wayne was less of a target for Manning.
Harrison, along with Wayne and Stokley, enjoyed a fantastic day against the hapless Texans. Harrison pulled down ball after ball in increased coverage to finish with seven receptions on nine targets for 108 yards and a score. The Texans attempted to put extra coverage on Harrison throughout the game, resulting in Manning going to other options or just as easily to throw it to Harrison in the increased coverage. Harrison was sharp in and out of cuts, working to find separation at will it seemed.
This was one of those weeks for Stokley. With Manning spreading the offense, and moving the ball at will, Stokley enjoyed one of his better games. Every time Manning looked for Stokley, he was finding ways to get open and make separation. Stokley seemed to just run by defenders and get space in the defensive backfield on go routes. He also was able to slide across the center of the defense virtually untouched from the slot to pick up yards.
Walters fielded one punt for a seven yard gain.
Clark opened the game with a 14 yard touchdown reception. With Manning spreading the ball to his wide receivers so well in the game, Clark went unused for most of the game, only catching a four yard pass in the second half.
Utecht’s lone target was a poor pass on third and seven where Manning was trying to force the play.
Fletcher had a single target in the first half and failed to convert.
Vanderjagt kicked a 45 yard field goal and added four extra points.
The Colts all but shut down the Texans’ rushing attack on the left side of the line. Wells and Morency were able to move the ball forward against the right side. It was an average performance for the rushing defense.
The Colts’ pass defense stopped Carr and the Texans in their tracks. Carr was sacked three times, and hurried all game. Carr only looked for Andre Johnson in the first half, who the Colts had buried. Even when Carr began to spread the ball in the second half, more often than not, the Texans’ receivers couldn’t get free to make a catch.