weeks into the season after what many thought was a
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.
were broken, streaks kept alive, and the Colts put up some
impressive stats as a team and individually.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the lone winless team in the NFL.
has won its first seven games for the first time in franchise
history and gave head coach Tony Dungy his 100th NFL victory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MATT KRYGER / THE STAR
Colts defensive back
Nick Harper returns an interception as he tries to outrun the Texans'
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
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.
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.
it was 14-14, everybody was excited," said Gaffney.
"After halftime, the game just got away from us."
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!
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
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
after a 35-yard kickoff return, reached the Indianapolis 47 on its
first possession of the second half before punting the ball away.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
Reagor scooped up the fumble and returned it 37 yards for a score.
MATT KRYGER / The Star
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)
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.
sack, Mathis -- the NFL leader -- set a franchise record by recording
one in his seventh straight game.
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.
the first kickoff return for a touchdown in Texans history.
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)
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.
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.
Texans are off to the worst start in their four-season history.
postgame celebration was in full roar when a man clad in a bright red
blazer strolled into the locker room.
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.
Jerome Mathis, 89 Yd kick return (David Carr 2
Pt. Conversion pass to Marcellus
offense never had to punt the ball
by the Texans.
first time this year a team has posted two in a game against the Colts.
Colts have now yielded just five in seven games, best in the NFL .
Reagor has his first NFL touchdown after his fumble recovery against
Dallas Clark had a season-high 51 yards receiving and his first
touchdown of the year
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
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.
previous mark of a sack in six straight games was set by Dan Footman
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
Harper has 11 career interceptions after adding one against the
Texans. It's his second of the season.
Manning's fumble against the Texans was the first time he's
dropped the ball all season.
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.
rushing by Edgerrin James, boosting his season total to 801, putting
him on pace for 1,830 yards this season.
five 100-yard games this season and 45 for his career. The Colts are
39-6 when he reaches the century mark.
yards is also the total net yards of offense
entire Houston team.
net yards by the Colts
an overall record of 100-63, including 44-17 with the Colts.
have outscored the Texans 48-0 in the first quarter of their seven meetings.
6-of-9 for 48 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He lost
42 yards on five sacks.
NFL's only unbeaten team visits league's only
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.
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).
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 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
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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