"They only way you work out of stuff like this is to keep showing up for work everyday and keep busting your tail and playing hard and something good will happen to you." - Gary Kubiak
The Texans back-to-back losses have dropped them to 3-6 on the season, but don't expect them to just mail it in. The team is taking this approach and looking forwards to facing the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch of earlier this year when the Texans led 27-10 with 5 minutes left and lost 31-27. The Texans then reeled off three consecutive home wins before losing in Minnesota.
Look for the Texans to try and put pressure on Peyton Manning, something they were successful doing in Houston earlier this season. "We lined up and sat still until he was ready to go and for the most part, we hit him in the mouth. We just didn’t get a chance to finish the game,” Kevin Bentley said, when asked how the Texans reacted to Manning's many audibles and formation shifts and hand signals. Bentley recorded a sack in that game and Mario Williams got Manning twice. “I think people actually let him confuse them,” Bentley said. “He’s not very confusing. It’s not really confusing if you know what he’s going to do. You know he’s going to do all of the hand movements and all of the chatter. You’ve just got to be able to sit through all of that and be ready to play when he’s ready to play.”
Look for Steve Slaton to get the start at running back but expect to see Ahman Green and Ryan Moats to get some carries as well. With Green able to play, the team is 3-3. When Green has missed games due to injury, the Texans are 0-3. “When he has been up, when he’s been healthy and been up and been a part of the rotation for this football team or when he was a starter for the first few weeks last year, this team played better,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s got big-play ability. He’s a fine player. He’s very good in protection so it does make us better. But we’ve had to deal without him a lot, so that’s just part of it.”
Moats has played in three games at running back and kick returner for the Texans and led the team with seven carries for 34 yards last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. "He is a 100-percent-effort guy. He can make some people miss in small spaces, and we’re really happy to have him," said running backs coach Chick Harris.
Moats smiled when he was told how Harris described his all-out, all-the-time effort. “I guess that’s just the way I’ve been bred as far as when I run the ball, I run it,” he said. “I mean, if it’s a walkthrough, I can’t really ‘walk through.’ I know they laugh at me sometimes because I’m going 1,000 miles per hour even through a walkthrough, but I don’t know – there’s just something in my body that tells me, ‘Go,’ and when it’s time to go, I just go.”
The running game for the Texans will be a critical factor in their meeting with the Colts. One of the difficulties in the turnovers in the past two games has been the Texans lack of a running game facing the top two rushing defenses in the league, which was very damaging in both games in the red zone. At least two of Rosenfels' interceptions in the past two games have occurred in the end zone. The ability to run in those situations can only help rectify that problem.
Fittingly, the Texans are picked to lose this game. They are 0-4 on the road, they have lost back-to-back games and the Colts have put together a winning streak against a couple of tough opponents. But the Colts aren't the dominant team they have been in the past years and are vulnerable to being beat here.
The Texans have to get over 100 yards rushing, have to get some sacks on Manning and for crying out loud they have to win the turnover battle to overcome a playoff caliber team such as the Colts.
It can be done. That's how the Texans beat the Colts in 06.