Players to Watch
RB Mike Hart and RB Donald Brown-Joseph Addai is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game, so Hart and Brown should split the majority of the carries in the backfield. Manning has absolutely been torching teams through the air and had 433 passing yard in the first match up against the Texans. Houston will likely design their game plan around limiting Manning. If they do so, look for the Colts to want a more balanced attack this time so that they can control the clock, which means opportunities for these two relatively unknown backs.
DE Robert Mathis-Part of the Colts dynamic defensive ends, Mathis will be key to putting pressure on Matt Schaub. Schaub likes to air it out and as a result is prone to throwing interceptions if pressured. Mathis will be a key player for the Colts to win the turnover battle.
WR Pierre Garcon-With Austin Collie and Dallas Clark sidelined, Garcon will likely see a lot of throws from Manning. Last week he had his first 100-yard receiving game of the year and will be looking for another against the Texan’s last ranked pass defense. He is likely in for a big game.
Key Matchup: Colts’ Defensive Tackles vs. Arian Foster
Foster is having a fantastic year, in large part due to his 231 yard rushing effort vs. the Colts in week 1. The Colts need to prevent another explosive outing from Foster and it all starts up front. The Colts are 28th overall in rushing defense and tackles Daniel Muir and Fili Moala are a part of the problem. They don’t record many sacks, so the Colts need them to be stopgaps against the run, something they haven’t been doing a good job of so far this season. The Colts’ defensive ends will need to prevent Foster from running all over them if they do not want a repeat of their first meeting.
Why the Colts Will Win: You can bank on Peyton Manning turning in another stellar game for the Colts, and they should have no problem scoring points against a weak Texans defense. It will be up to the defense to slow down the Texan’s offense. If they can limit Houston to less than 27 points, which is very manageable, I think the Colts win this game. The Colts will find a way to hold Foster under 150 yards rushing and will force Schaub to move out of the pocket and force throws. Peyton Manning will take care of the rest.
Prediction: Colts 31, Texan 24