18 Plays (sort of) from the Colts/Texans game
Ok, so it's not the witty banter you're used to from the podcast, but we went to all the work to make these brilliant observations, the least we could do was write them down for you...
1. 12:19 Indy ball, 4th and 1 from the Houston 41. Joseph Addai runs for six yards and a first down to set up the Colts first field goal.
DS: Nice block by Darrell Reid. Addai does a good job stepping out of Demeco Ryans' tackle.
DZ: Gijon Robinson threw a nice block as well. Joe Addai is a great back, who routinely has no where to go, but gets it done anyway.
2. 4:07 Indy ball, 4th and 1 from the Houston 45. Manning hits Wayne for 36 yards and a first and goal.
DS: Here's a max protect scheme with both TE's in blocking. Reeves has solid coverage on Wayne, but Manning drops it on a dime after a nice play fake.
DZ: This play was sick. There is nothing wrong with Manning that can't be solved by giving him a normal amount of time to make the deep throws. Going for it on 4th and short on consecutive drives led to 10 points. The Colts lose this game if they don't go for it. That's winning football.
3. :13 Texans ball, 1st and 10 from the Indy 43. Rosenfels hits Daniels for 20 yards
DS: Great call by Kubiak and company. When the run is working, plays like this are great. The PA fake and line block to the right, Rosenfels rolls left and hits Daniels who slipped past Brackett.
DZ: Brackett bites ever so slightly on the run fake, which let Daniels get past him. I love Gary Brackett, but he did NOT deserve to be player of the week. Freeney (with two forced fumbles) or Mathis (who also forces the pick at the end) deserved it far more.
4. 10:51 Indy ball, 3rd and 15 from the Indy 17. Manning throws incomplete on a drop by Anthony Gonzalez
DS: The Colts were backed up after Mario Williams destroyed Diem and Robinson on the previous play. Manning does a brilliant job escaping the pressure and throws a perfect pass to Gonzo who lets it go right through his arms. This was hard to watch. Very hard to watch.
DZ: Jamey Richards let his man get in on #18, who clearly isn't bothered by the knee. This was a beautiful play that should have happened and stemmed the Texans momentum. I have to wonder when Gonzo got his concussion. If it was before this play, it could explain why he dropped it.
5. 9:17 Texans ball, 3rd and 1 from the Houston 40. Rosenfels hits Andre Johnson for 39 yards
DS: Johnson goes in motion and makes a sweet move just before the snap. He squares his body to the line, but continues to hop sideways. This makes him moving when the ball is snapped and he just destroys MJax on a simple slant.
DZ: Johnson is a great receiver. I heard how Jackson struggled, but after watching the game, I don't blame him. Sometimes, the other guy is just too good to be handled. He played a tremendous game. His size/speed/hands were shocking. Great job by him.
6. 3:32 Colts ball, 3rd and 12 from the Houston 31. Manning throws incomplete to Wayne in the end zone.
DS: Charlie Johnson's false start backed the Colts up and AV would miss the FG after this play.
DZ: Manning had to step up because Mario Williams is WHIPPING Charlie Johnson (detect a pattern?). Wayne is clearly open for a TD, but the pressure makes Peyton leave the throw about a yard or two short. With a clean pocket, it's an easy 6. Analyzing the Colts' deep passing game is easy. If there is time, they have a chance. There is almost never time.
7. :51 Texans ball, 3rd and 2 from the Indy 30. Rosenfels hits Davis for 6 yards.
DS: This was a sharp throw and a nice grab despite a big hit on Davis. It set up the go ahead touch down just before the half.
DZ: My copy of the game skipped this play. Someone forgot to hit record coming out of a timeout. Sigh.
8. 11:08 Indy ball, 1st and 10 from the 50. Manning throws incomplete deep to Harrison
DS: After the Texans drive stalls on two dropped passes, the Colts drove to midfield. On this play, Pollack gets beat, and Peyton doesn't step up, possibly because it would have killed the timing of the play. Marvin has his man beat outside, but Peyton throws way short and inside. It was ugly, and it's unclear why the throw was so bad.
DZ: After the drive stalled, they were arguing coming off the field. Manning was making hand gestures like he wanted Marvin to cut in (which is why the pass was so short). Marvin had his man beat to the outside, and it should have been a big gain. I don't know where Marvin was supposed to be, but it sure looked like Manning should have recognized what was happening better than he did. Then again, he was under pressure.
9. 4:53 Texans ball, 3rd and 17 from the Houston 33. Slaton for 8 yards, but a first down is given on a defensive holding penalty.
DS: This one almost drove me over the edge. Brock is blocked by two guys, and pulls the guard to ground to open up space for the LB. It was clearly a good call on replay. The joke is that two guys missed the tackle after Raheem opened things up for them.
DZ: Brackett missed the tackle anyway. I'm telling you, he didn't have a great game at all.
10. 3:14 Texans ball, 3rd and 6 from the 50. Rosenfels hits Johnson for 19 yards
DS: Rosenfels gets time as Johnson is being lazily covered by Tim Jennings. Did I mention that Jennings will be starting for Kelvin Hayden on Sunday!
DZ: Tough play. The pressure arrived just a tick late. Johnson is doubled by Brackett who takes away the short route, and Jennings who takes away the out, leaving the safety to take away the middle. Bethea arrives just a hair late and delivers a massive shot to Johnson who hangs on. This guy is a seriously great player. He would leave the game after this play because Bethea jacked him up so bad, but he hung onto the ball.
11: Indy ball 13:02 3rd and 4 from the 50. Mario Williams sacks Manning for a loss of 7.
DS: CJ blocks no one and Addai gets cleaned up. Enough said.
DZ: CJ is starting again this Sunday, did I mention that? Horrible. He just stands there at the line blocking no one, looking confused while Addai is swallowed by Mario Williams. Simply unacceptable. It is interesting that Addai doesn't try to cut William, which might have worked. We read a few weeks ago that the Colts don't let their RBs cut pass rushers because they don't want anyone diving at Manning's knees. It led to a sack here, but is still a good policy.
12. 12:12 Texans ball, 2nd and 10 from the Indy 20. Slaton rumbles for 41 yards.
DS: Slaton looks very fast, and the play was well blocked. Somehow Brackett and MJax get sucked inside and then Bethea misses the tackle 10 yards downfield, giving up another 30. Sessions makes a great play to stop a touchdown.
DZ: Bullitt comes down alongside the LBs, but jumps inside too quickly instead of flowing to the ball. He is crushed by a blocker. Jackson takes an awful angle and misses a chance to make the play for minimal gain. Failures by at least 4 players (Brackett, Bullitt, MJax, and Bethea) make a huge gain inevitable.
13. 6:16 Indy ball, 2nd and 5 from the Houston 44. Manning hits Wayne for 22 yards.
DS: The line miraculously creates a clean pocket, and Manning hits Reggie on an easy slant. This used to be a normal thing. Suddenly 3 seconds of protection is the lead story.
DZ: This drive was hilarious. Every other play, Manning was getting crushed. The play before this, he completed a pass while horizontally flying through the air while being hit. When he had time to throw, it was a big play. When he didn't, it was ugly.
14. 4:10 Indy ball, 4th and 6 from the Houston 7. Manning hits Santi for a TD.
DS: Charlie Johnson finally blocks someone (not Mario Williams), and Manning guns it to Santi who has guys draped all over him. Crazy catch that almost squirts out of his hands.
DZ: Santi is playing because AG is hurt. Going for the TD here instead of the FG is probably not the play that many would make. The extra 4 points did put pressure on the Texans though, and may have created everything that comes after it. Emotionally, the Texans would have felt more secure if up 14, and possibly don't make all the mistakes that came later.
15. 3:54 Texans ball, 3rd and 8 from the Indy 39. Rosenfels scrambles for 7 and Freeney forces a fumble. Brackett returns it for 68 yards and a score.
DS: Very similar run fake as we mentioned earlier. Rosenfels tries to vault MJax. He get hits low and high, and Dwight Freeney knocks the ball loose. Just huge. I love you Gary Brackett. I love you so hard. What...a....gaffe...by Rosenfels. Schaub looks on in disgust. The funny thing is it looks like Owen Daniels is open again on the play.
DZ: I love the fact that Raheem Brock is downfield blocking at the goal line for Brackett after initially hitting Rosenfels and helping to cause the fumble. Great hustle.
16. 2:50 Texans ball, 3rd and 8 from the 21. Mathis sacks Rosenfels, strips the ball and recovers it.
DS: Freeney is getting doubled teamed but still manages to force Rosenfels to scramble left. For some reason the qb thinks he has tons of time because he slows up as he nears the line of scrimmage so he can throw. Mathis comes all the way around from the left side to make the play. It was so sweet looking watching him dive. He recovers it himself. This is what I expect to see when I tune into watch this defense.
DZ: Brock shows up again to hit Rosenfels after the ball comes loose. He takes him out of the play so that Mathis can recover. Just an amazing play by Mathis, which lets you see that the Colts are loaded with both amazing athletes and several fill-ins. This play was amazing on every level.
17. 2:00 Indy ball, 1st and goal from the 5. Manning hits Wayne for a touchdown and the lead.
DS: I don't think it's a coincidence that they called a play which required no pass protection. That catch was badass.
18. :50 Texans ball, 2nd and 10 from the Indy 43. Bullitt picks off Rosenfels to end the game
Just a terrible effort. Where was he throwing that? Foster gets a
hand up in his face as he throws. Dan Dierdorff summed it up best:
"I guess the old adage is true: if you play quarterback long enough something really bad is going to happen. And today is Sage
Rosenfels turn. Oh my Lord." Thanks Dan.
DZ: Foster and Mathis provide the pressure, and Rosenfels throws it off his back foot. I still can't believe we won that game.
The O-line was horrible. Charlie Johnson is going to get Peyton killed before too long. Brackett and Bethea struggled all day. The Texans are very talented. That shocked me. They clearly have some players, and may well be the best 0-4 team ever. The Colts are in trouble on Sunday if Freeney and Jackson are out as well as Hayden.