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Eyes in the Backfield
18 things to watch for in the Texans/Colts game
No wonder the Texans are struggling. Who would trade for this guy to play QB?
So things haven't exactly gone according to plan, but with the bulk of the season still in front of them, the Colts look to rebound from the gut check loss to the Jags, by taking on the winless Texans. Houston was a preseason darling of a lot of people, but were blown out by the Steelers in week 1, and it only got worse from there. Indy needs a win badly, and if things go well, here's what you'll see:
1. Watch for points. The Colts have had a healthy bye week just in time to gain rhythm and players back healthy. The Texans showed an ability to move the ball last week. This should be a high scoring affair. Indy has scored 39 points in its last 30 minutes of Time of Possession. The Colts defense has only allowed 3 touchdowns through three games, but the offense has 'helped' out by allowing 16 defensive points of their own. One way or another, the Colts O is scoring points.
2. Watch for Mike Pollack. The second round pick was slated to be a starter at guard this season, but a knee injury has kept Howard Mudd scrambling to fill his spot. Together with the return of Tony Ugoh, the Colts line is as healthy as it has been in some time (though it is still missing Ryan Lilja).
3. Watch Ugoh vs. Mario Williams. Williams was a hot commodity last season after a breakout year, but Tony Ugoh fared well against him. Williams picked up a couple of sacks in a blowout loss week one, but has been largely invisible this year. If Ugoh can hold Williams without a sack, it bodes well for the Colts quest to continue dominating the Texans for a long time to come.
4. Watch the linebackers, especially Clint Sessions. Sessions has conjured up memories of Gilbert Gardner early this season by overruning plays and allowing big cut back lanes. After a long stretch of pure practice time, now is his chance to show that he can grasp his defensive responsibilities. Word is that Hagler is ready (though ineligible) to return, so unless Sessions stays home and fills the hole, his playing time will disappear in a few weeks.
5. Watch for desperation and frustration. Let's face it, both teams have failed to live up to their preseason standards for various reasons. The loser is all but finished in 2008. This should be an intense game, and the team that keeps its head will come out on top.
6. Watch for Addai early and often. The Colts brought back the stretch play and ran wild on the Jaguars two weeks ago. By getting away from the run, the Colts left their defense on the field. The Jags struggled to run against the Texans last week, so Addai's YPC number could decide the game.
7. Watch for emotional fans. Houston is playing their home opener thanks to the damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Emotion doesn't always translate to an edge on the field, but Dungy will have his team prepared accordingly. The Texans fans always get up for games with Indy anyway, and if this one stays close the crowd could be a factor.
18. Hey, it's Indy. Watch for the .500. Games at Houston are always tough, but this team desperately needs a win and is fresh out of excuses. Indy is more talented and is finally healthy on offense. Colts 31 Texans 24.
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