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Manning feasts on Texans

Colts QB Peyton Manning against the Texans

Despite Colts quarterback Peyton Manning’s assessment of the Houston Texans, it is hard to argue that he thrives against them.  Manning offered this assessment to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star: “The front is good, the linebackers are active and the secondary is athletic.  So it’s a solid, sound defense.”  Perhaps this is true, in light of the fact that the Texans have done a complete turnaround as opposed to seasons past.  But the numbers don’t lie.

In the past, the Texans’ defense has taken a butt-whipping from Manning and Co.  In 10 starts vs. the Texans, Manning has went 9-1 and has completed 71% of his passes with 25 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions (a 6.25-to-1 ratio).  He also has a career passer rating of 119.3 against the Texans.  But that can be put aside as the undefeated Colts take on these Texans (also undefeated) at Reliant Stadium today.

The Colts will perhaps deviate slightly from their usual gameplan against the Texans.  You can expect Texans linebacker Demeco Ryans to key on Colts running back Joseph Addai, which should open up the passing lanes for Manning.  I would also think that the Colts’ defensive line would pay extra attention to DE Mario Williams, especially after what he did last week vs. the Carolina Panthers.  Colts offensive tackle Tony Ugoh will definitely have his hands full protecting Manning’s blind side.

The Texans’ much-improved offensive line will have to continue to play like they have for QB Matt Schaub to pass efficiently against the Colts’ secondary, which features stud safety Bob Sanders.  But with Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson out for at least this week, Schaub’s options at WR will be limited.  With these obstacles facing the Texans, a collective effort on both sides of the ball will be necessary if the Texans hope to upset the Colts this afternoon.

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