Tag:Colts vs Texans
Posted on: November 17, 2008 1:36 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 10:37 pm

Third And Manning

"We had a good effort. We came up a couple of plays short, and it was very disappointing. We are going to keep battling. That effort today, you can win some games in this league." - Gary Kubiak.

For the second time this season, the Houston Texans gave the Indianapolis Colts a gigantic scare. And for the secone time this season, scare was the best the Texans could do as they wound up on the short end of a 33-27 loss in what may have been yesterday's most exciting game. The loss dropped the Texans to 3-7 and puts a dark cloud over an amazing performance by Steve Slaton. Slaton carried the ball 15 times for a team rookie-record 156 yards, including a 71-yard touchdwon run, the longest in team history.

But the difference in the ballgame was the Indianapolis Colts ability in the second half to move the chains on third down. 6 times in the second half, the Colts faced a third down. They converted 5 of them, their lone falied third down being at the end of the game with them already in field goal range. When it was 3rd and 7, Peyton Manning would find Dallas Clark for 9 yards.  If it was 3rd and 9, Manning would find Marvin Harrison for 10.

The Texans had done a good job of bend but don't break in the first half, holding the Colts to 3 field goals. But the Colts began to get their running game working, forcing the Texans to adjust. And that  played right into Manning's hands. “We started to get down into some eight-man fronts, and when we did that, they started picking us apart. Credit to Peyton and their football team and their patience," Kubiak said.

Still, the story of the game from the Texans' side is not so much the loss as it is the reemergence of Slaton. After complaining of fatigue and taking a rest in the blowout loss to the Ravens, the WVU product went wild against a Colts' defense that everyone knows is not one of the best at stopping the run. After facing the top two statistically run defenses in the past two weeks, this was also a break of sorts for the Texans' running game. “It definitely did help me to rest. You really don’t realize how much football I have played so far just being a rookie now. I think last week definitely did help me," Slaton said.

The Texans also did a very good job of protecting the football, up until Sage Rosenfels threw an interception in the final minute. That possession produced two plays where I do have to ask why they tried to force plays. Trailing 33-27 with 1:47 left and no timeouts, the Texans began their last chance at their own 24 yard line. Rosenfles then completed a 12 yard pass to David Anderson. Then, instead of wasting the next first down and spiking the ball to stop the clock, the Texans tried to hurry up and run another play. The result was a sack.Anderson a couple plays later would catch another pass, a 14-yard gain, that gave the Texans a first down at their own 48. Again, instead of coming to the line and spiking the ball, they tried to force another play and that play turned out to be the interception that ended the game. I don't know if that decision is made by Kubiak or Rosenfels but that's what spiking the ball is for. That's why you do it on first down. It still gives you three plays to move the chains and allows you the luxury of getting your offense ready to run a play without having to force anything.

Other than that, I can't complain about the offensive performance in this game.

As for the defense, I'm giving them a mulligan for the 33 points allowed. After all, that was Peyton Manning on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

 (sources: CBS Sportsline, houstontexans.com)

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 15, 2008 10:15 am

Rookies To Watch

When the Texans face the Colts, several rookies will be playing in key spots due to injuries or their own progressions. Steve Slaton and Duane Brown have already been alternating in and out of the starting lineups and now add linebacker Xavier Adibi to that mix. With injuries to Zac Diles and Morlon Greenwood, Adibi could be thrust into a starting role this week. "Sometimes these rookies, you know, they struggle and struggle and struggle and all of the sudden the light goes on. It sure looks like it’s trying to go on for him, so we’re expecting to see some good things out of him,” Kubiak said about Adibi.

 Kubiak also said that Dominique Barber and Antwaun Molden should see more snaps this week.

Molden keeps a rookie diary on hostontexans.com. He is a third-round draft choice out of Eastern Kentucky.

The Texans know one of the keys to this game is to establish the run. “There’s no secret that the teams that have beaten these guys have done a pretty good job of running the ball,” Sage Rosenfels said. “Running the ball does a couple of things. It keeps your offense on the field and obviously moving the ball but also keeps Peyton off the field. That’s as important as anything, because he can’t score many points when he’s on the sideline.”

In order to get that running game going, the Texans will be looking to Slaton to be ready to get some carries. “He’s got some of his legs back, which is what we were hoping for. He was really worn down last week. We were very concerned about him at the end of last week in practice, but in a good way. All you had to do was go back and look how much football he’s played and you’d know why. We backed off of him this week. We freshened him up. He’s been moving around pretty good and, of course, he looked a lot better to me,” Kubiak said.

DeMeco Ryans hopes the defense gets to use more blitzes against the Colts. "Anytime our number is called, we love it. It gives you no responsibilities – you’re just going as fast as you can through a gap and just blitzing, just trying to tear something up."

Indianapolis Colts beat writer Tom James of the Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star  predicted the Colts to win 28-17.

(source houstontexans.com)

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com