If you were hoping the hangover wouldn't end with a headache you're out of luck.
Clearly, this was awful. It was epic in its awfulness, unlike anything we've seen since the 41-0 playoff loss to the New York Jets at the end of the 2002 season. There were a lot of worst-case scenarios for these Colts, how life might be without Peyton Manning, with an unsettled and inexperienced offensive line, playing against a Houston team whose time has finally come.
In my continuing effort to kill off the quarterback rating once and for all, check this out: Matt Schaub had a lower passer rating than Collins. The two interceptions did that. Dumb, dumb statistic. When the game still mattered -- the first quarter and a half -- Schaub took advantage of brilliant protection and found open receivers over the linebackers and in front of the safeties. Defensively, the Colts are built to play with a lead. Manning masks so many flaws, and when the Colts can't just fire off and chase the quarterback, they're mediocre at best.
Meanwhile, the usually talkative Jim Irsay clammed up about Manning's return:
"With these things, you never know the time frame," Irsay said after the Manning-less Colts were routed 34-7 by the Houston Texans. "There's a broad range of two to six months."
Finally, Paul Kuharsky reports that this Houston Texans team handled the win with intense focus before moving on:
Signs at both ends of the locker room and outside the team auditorium that said “One Focus” and featured a Colts’ helmet and the date and time of the opening game were taken down. In their places: New versions with details about the Dolphins.