Houston Texans (5-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (8-0)
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium (Dome)
Line: Colts by 9
Trends: Texans have won three straight and have their best record at the halfway point in team history; Colts have won 16 consecutive games.
Three most important things for the Texans on defense:
1. Blanket Reggie Wayne. Wayne is an elite receiver and he and Peyton Manning are connecting at an unbelievable pace. The Texans need to do what they can to slow him down.
2. Pressure Peyton. It's no secret that if Manning has to move around he's not nearly as effective. If he has time to throw, he's legendary.
3. Get them off the field. Indianapolis converts on third down at better than a 51% pace. If the Colts offense is on the bench, the Texans can pull the upset.
Three most important things for the Texans on offense:
1. Run the ball. Whether it is Steve Slaton, Ryan Moats or Chris Brown, the Texans need to run the football against a poor tackling Colts team.
2. Get the ball out quickly. Matt Schaub tends to hold the football and that isn't a good idea against Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
3. Exploit their secondary. No Bob Sanders, Marlin Jackson or Kelvin Hayden. The Texans need to take advantage of the Colts backups and make some big plays in the passing game.
What to look for:
1. Look for the starting QB's to combine for 650+ yards. Two great passing attacks should be able to exploit two very mediocre secondaries.
2. If the Texans turn the ball over twice, they will lose. Houston isn't good enough to overcome big mistakes on the road against a team that's careful with the football.
3. Look for Andre Johnson to get a lot of underneath passes. With the state of the Indy secondary, they will likely be giving the AFC's best receiver plenty of cushion.
4. Look for Joseph Addai to score. Addai has scored five times already and he's quietly having a solid season.
5. Look for the Texans to beat the spread. Nine points looks like far too many for a surging Houston team, not to mention all of the injuries that Indy has on defense. Don't be surprised if the Texans win the game outright.