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The Colts Influence




Game 7

 Oct 23 2005

Updated October 24, 2005


Story Line with Photos    Scoring Summary   Game Notes    Preview



















Colts remain undefeated

Seven weeks into the season after what many thought was a disastrous-looking preseason; October 23, 2005 - The Indianapolis Colts remain the NFL's only unbeaten team and in the process kept Houston on the other end of the spectrum.
The Colts' 38-20 victory pushed their mark to a franchise-record 7-0 and kept the Texans the league's only winless team at 0-6.

Records were broken, streaks kept alive, and the Colts put up some impressive stats as a team and individually.
Check it all out in The Game Notes.

Houston came into todays game trying to employ a couple of different tactics in an effort to help its plight in a victory over the Colts. The Texans wore their "lucky" battle red jerseys in which they have a 3-0 record, and under a 70 degrees, slightly coudy day, they kept the Reliant's retractable roof closed to maximize noise.
Jerseys didn't work!
And from what I heard over my big screen TV with surround sound - noise was minimal.

As Texans fans were not loud,
furthermore were they proud!

Peyton Manning was uncharacteristically sloppy at times, fumbled for the first time this season and was intercepted on a poorly thrown pass but he did enough to lead Indianapolis to a 38-20 victory over the winless Houston Texans that gave the Colts their first 7-0 record.

Peyton Manning threw for two touchdowns and Edgerrin James added a pair of scores on the ground, as the Indianapolis Colts used a dominant second half to remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL with a 38-20 victory over the winless Houston Texans.

Manning completed 21-of-27 passes for 237 yards with an interception for the Colts (7-0), who scored 24 unanswered points in the second half after the game was tied at 14-14.

EdgerrinJames chewed up 139 yards on 21 carries to lead an Indianapolis ground attack that finished with 205 yards. Manning actually chipped in 12 yards on six attempts and Dominic Rhodes added 50 rushing yards.

The Indianapolis defense also came up with a touchdown and limited the woeful Texans (0-6) to 139 total yards - minus-four in the second half.
Houston is the lone winless team in the NFL. 

Indianapolis has won its first seven games for the first time in franchise history and gave head coach Tony Dungy his 100th NFL victory.


The Houston Texans won the toss and Indianapolis Colts Kicker, DaveRayner kicks 58 yards to the Texans 12 yard line as J. Mathis ran for 18 yards. Several plays later and a 8 yard loss sack on Texans QB Carr by Montae Reagor and Josh Thomas, the Texans ended up punting the ball away.

(David J. Phillip/Associated Press) 

The Indianapolis Colts' Montae Reagor (90) and Josh Thomas (91) sack Houston Texans' quarterback David Carr (8) during the first quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005 in Houston.

The Colts took their first possession 88 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. Manning completed all five of his passes for 56 yards and James carried six times for the remaining 32, bulling into the end zone from a yard away for the 7-0 lead.

Manning lost a fumble on the next Indianapolis series, but the stingy Colt defense got the ball back on the next play when Nick Harper picked off a Carr pass.


Colts defensive back Nick Harper returns an interception as he tries to outrun the Texans' Matt Murphy.


The Colts took over at the Houston 47 and needed just three plays to find the end zone. Manning capped the quick series with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark for a 14-0 lead with 11:22 remaining in the first half and it appeared as though the rout was on.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
 Indianapolis Colts' Dallas Clark (44) runs toward the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown reception as Houston Texans' Shantee Orr (53) and Jason Simmons (30) chase him during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Houston.

AJ Macht

The Texans, however, followed with a 79-yard drive for a touchdown. After Davis lost four yards on the first two plays, Carr found Marcellus Rivers for 16 yards to keep the march alive. Carr also converted 4th-and-2 with a six- yard run and Davis finished the series with 11 carries for 44 yards, punching it into the end zone from eight yards out to make it a 14-7 game with 3:15 left before the break.

Manning was then picked off by Dunta Robinson on the first play after the kickoff and the Texans turned it into another score, as Carr hit Jabar Gaffney with an eight-yard touchdown strike in the final minute of the half.

"When it was 14-14, everybody was excited," said Gaffney. "After halftime, the game just got away from us."

It wasn't that the game got away from you Gaffney, It was The Colts stepping up and saying enough. What you had in the first half was The Colts going easy on you - in the second half you witnessed real Colts Football!


Manning needed just seven plays to march his team 77 yards on the first series of the third quarter to give the Colts the lead. Consecutive 18-yard completions to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne keyed the series, which ended with a nine-yard touchdown run by James.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Indianapolis Colts' Edgerrin James (32) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Houston Texans' Morlon Greenwood (56) and Marcus Coleman (42) defend in the third quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Houston. The Colts won, 38-20.

Houston, after a 35-yard kickoff return, reached the Indianapolis 47 on its first possession of the second half before punting the ball away.

The Colts then used almost half of the third quarter (7.26 minutes) to mount a sixteen-play, 66-yard drive that stalled after a controversial play where Manning went in motion and center Jeff Saturday directly snapped the ball to Dominic Rhodes. The Colts running back pushed the ball from the Houston 7-yard line to the 2, but the play was flagged for illegal motion against Manning. The Colts didn't recover from the setback and settled for a 36-yard field-goal by Mike Vanderjagt.


Carr was then sacked on three straight plays to lose 19 yards and the Texans were forced to punt it away again.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Texans quarterback David Carr (8) fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Indianapolis Colts' Raheem Brock in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Houston.

The Colts took over at midfield and needed just four plays to again find the end zone. James started it with a 30-yard run and Manning finished the quick strike with a seven-yard scoring toss to Marvin Harrison for a 31-14 cushion.

AJ Macht

Houston's next series, Carr was sacked three times in a row and fumbled twice, but the Texans recovered both times. But thier next drive ended in disaster as Carr was sacked again by Robert Mathis and forced the fumble.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Texans quarterback David Carr, center, fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis, back, and Dwight Freeney, far right, and is also hit by his own player, Texans' Todd Wade (71), in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Houston. Colts' Montae Reagor recovered the fumble and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.

Montae Reagor scooped up the fumble and returned it 37 yards for a score.


His 1st TD: Colts defensive tackle Montae Reagor scoops up a late fumble and runs 37 yards for a score. "I was going to do a touchdown dance, but I didn't know what to do. I was stuck," he said.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Indianapolis Colts' Montae Reagor (90) celebrates with teammate Raheem Brock (79) as he returns a fumble by Houston Texans quarterback David Carr 37 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005 in Houston.

With that sack, Mathis -- the NFL leader -- set a franchise record by recording one in his seventh straight game.

That touchdown prompted a small group of Texans fans to don paper bags with eye holes and elicited streams of boos from the restless crowd.

The Texans got their only points of the second half in the fourth quarter when rookie Jerome Mathis, a former track star, returned a kickoff 89 yards for the TD.
It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Texans history.

The Texans immediately followed with a two-point conversion attempt that failed, leaving the Texans down 38-20 and the last time the Texans saw the ball, as the Colts ran out the remaining time.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, left, gives head coach Tony Dungy a game ball after beating the Houston Texans, 38-20, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Houston. The win gives Dungy 100 career victories.

Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy became the 34th NFL coach to win 100 games, while the Colts won for the 70th time since 1999, tops in the league. They improved to 7-0 against Houston.

The Texans are off to the worst start in their four-season history.

The postgame celebration was in full roar when a man clad in a bright red blazer strolled into the locker room.

Security didn't try to halt the party-crasher. Reliant Stadium is deep in the heart of Texas and former President George Bush pretty much can go where he pleases.

Read Full Story




Edgerrin James, 1 Yd run (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 3:42. Drive: 11 plays, 88 yards in 6:26.



Dallas Clark, 31 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 11:22. Drive: 3 plays, 47 yards in 1:23.


Domanick Davis, 8 Yd run (Kris Brown kick is good), 3:15. Drive: 14 plays, 79 yards in 8:07.


Jabar Gaffney, 8 Yd pass from David Carr (Kris Brown kick is good), 0:30. Drive: 6 plays, 34 yards in 2:38.



Edgerrin James, 9 Yd run (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 11:18. Drive: 7 plays, 77 yards in 3:42.


Mike Vanderjagt 36 Yd, 0:17. Drive: 16 plays, 66 yards in 7:26.



Marvin Harrison, 7 Yd pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 11:38. Drive: 4 plays, 50 yards in 1:44.


Montae Reagor, 37 Yd fumble return (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good), 8:07.


Jerome Mathis, 89 Yd kick return (David Carr 2 Pt. Conversion pass to Marcellus Rivers failed), 7:56.


Game Notes 

The Colts offense never had to punt the ball

Two sacks by the Texans.
 The first time this year a team has posted two in a game against the Colts.
 The Colts have now yielded just five in seven games, best in the NFL .

Montae Reagor has his first NFL touchdown after his fumble recovery against the Texans.

Colts TE Dallas Clark had a season-high 51 yards receiving and his first touchdown of the year

 Edgerrin James' has a 6.6 yards-per-carry versus the Texans, boosting his season average to 4.9 per carry. His career best for a season was 4.6 last year.

Robert Mathis is The Colts team sack leader with a number of 8 sacks this season and a franchise record number of consecutive games with at least one sack.

The previous mark of a sack in six straight games was set by Dan Footman in 1997.

26 team sack total after adding five against Houston. David Thornton's sack was just the second of the season by someone other than a defensive lineman. Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney , Raheem Brock were each credited with one while Montae Reagor and Josh Thomas shared credit for one.

Nick Harper has 11 career interceptions after adding one against the Texans. It's his second of the season.

Peyton Manning's  fumble against the Texans was the first time he's dropped the ball all season.

Colts defense held Texans 48 net passing yards for the game, the 2nd-time this season the defense has held an opponent under 50 yards net passing.
(49ers, 44).

139 yards rushing by Edgerrin James, boosting his season total to 801, putting him on pace for 1,830 yards this season.
James has five 100-yard games this season and 45 for his career. The Colts are 39-6 when he reaches the century mark.

139 yards  is also the total net yards of offense
for the entire Houston team.

437 total net yards by the Colts

Dungy has an overall record of 100-63, including 44-17 with the Colts.

The Colts have outscored the Texans 48-0 in the first quarter of their seven meetings.

Carr was 6-of-9 for 48 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He lost 42 yards on five sacks.

Game 12 against STEELERS

Game 5 against 49er's

Game 11 against the Bengal's

Game 4 against Titans

Game 17 against Cardinals

Game 10 against the TEXANS again

Game 3 against Browns

Game 16 against Seahawks

Game 9 against PATRIOTS

Game 2 against Jaguars

Game 15 against Chargers

Game 8 - BYE WEEK

Game 1 against Ravens

Game 14 against Jaguars again

Game 7 against the TEXANS


Game 13 against TITANS again

Game 6 against Rams




Colts at Texans Pregame Review

NFL's only unbeaten team 
visits league's only winless team

Before enjoying their bye week, the Colts must take care of another divisional road game. Standing between them and the best start in franchise history is Houston, which is why it's easy to envision the Colts heading into their break with a 7-0 record.
The Texans (0-5) are the league's only winless team.

The Colts have won all six head-to-head meetings with the Texans all-time, sweeping home-and-homes in 2002 and 2003, and 2004. The Colts prevailed by a 49-14 count at home in Week 10 of the 2004 season, and were 23-14 winners in the return matchup at Reliant Stadium.

Houston is the antithesis of Indianapolis in almost every way.

The Colts are the toughest team to score on in the league, allowing just 9.5 per game
while the Texans are the worst offensive team in the league averaging just 10.8 points per game.

Indy's Peyton Manning the least sacks (three)
Houston quarterback David Carr spends more time on his back than upright in the passing pocket.
The first overall pick in the 2002 draft has been sacked 30 times in five games this season, 170 times in 49 career appearances.
 Now comes the Colts' pass rush, which leads the league with 21 sacks.

On defense, 
the Colts are tops with 21 sacks
Houston is second-to-last with just three.

 Houston is last in total offense (215.8)
Houston has the weakest passing game in the league with just 103.4 yards per game and is second worst against the run in the league at 159.0 per game.

The Colts are 11th (339.8).
 Indianapolis averages over 100 more yards passing a game than the league-worst Texans (103.6).

The only thing worse than Houston's current record this season is its 0-6 mark against the Colts.

Though the Texans have never beaten Indianapolis, Houston kept it close in the last two meetings at Reliant Stadium, losing by a combined 12 points.

The Colts know they can't afford to overlook Houston, even with such disparity between the teams.

"We know they're looking forward to coming out and beating us," said Colts linebacker David Thornton. "And what a great win it would be for them if they did beat us. Any time you're 0-5, a win helps cure the pain."

The Texans are in desperate need of a cure after backsliding to a worse start than their expansion year. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was fired after Week 2, and Carr has been sacked just one fewer time than through five games as a rookie.

AFC rushing leader Edgerrin James could have a big day against a battered defense that allowed a franchise-high 320 yards rushing last week in Seattle.

James has rushed for 662 yards, and his 826 total yards are best in the NFL.

As if the Texans needed to get worse, five starters are expected to miss next week's game against the Colts.

Injuries have hurt the Texans all season, and they're still hurting. Linebacker Kailee Wong, who Texans Head Coach Dom Capers called "the quarterback of the defense" is out for the season with torn patellar tendon in his right knee. Johnson, defensive tackle Gary Walker, guard Zach Wiegert and strong safety C.C. Brown are also injured.

Walker, a former Pro Bowl selection, has been out since Week 2 with a shoulder sprain and he will miss Sunday. Wiegert sustained a high-ankle sprain against Seattle and his status for Sunday is uncertain.

Houston is employing a couple of different tactics in an effort to help its plight Sunday. The Texans will wear their "lucky" battle red jerseys in which they have a 3-0 record, and they made an early announcement that Reliant's retractable roof will be closed to maximize noise.

Clearly the bumbling team that had 13 penalties for 95 yards and allowed 42 points against Seattle will need a lot more than lucky jerseys and a closed roof to compete against the Colts.

Indeed, on top of poor performances, Houston has been besieged by injuries and could be without as many as five starters.

The Texans have managed just one touchdown per game. They'll face a Colts team that has been heralded for its defense this season and boasts league leaders in sacks (Robert Mathis) and interceptions (Cato June).

"He's been a tremendous contributor to that Colts team this year," Capers said of Mathis. "He's a guy that you always know is on the field because he's got the kind of explosiveness to make plays. So it's hard to think of anybody in the league that's quite like him right now."

Last season's NFL sacks leader Dwight Freeney comes to mind. The oft-sacked Carr hopes to stay far from him.

"I've met him numerous times," Carr said. "Me and Dwight go way back. We'll try to avoid any contact until after the game. I'll say 'Hi' to him after the game, but that's the only time I want to see him."

Tony Dungy needs one victory to become the 35th coach in NFL history with at least 100 career wins. He's 99-63 during a 10-year career -- 43-17 with the Colts, 56-46 with Tampa Bay. "A hundred (wins) is not easy to do in the NFL,'' Dungy said. "To win a hundred in 10 years is something special. Hopefully it comes this week.''

Everything the Colts do well,
 the Texans seemingly have no answer for.
Carr figures to have no time to throw against the Colts pass rush, which means turnovers and short fields for Manning and the Indy offense. Houston lacks the requisite talent to stop the Indianapolis attack in any phase,
meaning this one could be over by halftime.

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