PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus
Too much Peyton Manning. While the Colts want the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player to have the ball in his hands, 57 passing attempts are way too much for an offensive attack that strives to be more balanced. You can partially blame the pass protection problems on an offensive line that featured two players — C Jeff Saturday and LT Charlie Johnson -- that have had limited practice time in recent weeks. And then there was the issue of way too many dropped passes and mental errors by the receiving corps.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus
Ten rushing attempts on the day for a meager 44 yards. RB Joseph Addai had all of the work running the football. RB Donald Brown got into the game but did not have a rushing attempt. Perhaps a more accurate grade would be incomplete since the running attack never really had much of an opportunity to do much at all.
PASS DEFENSE: B
The Colts registered a pair of sacks, one each by DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Indianapolis allowed just 107 yards passing and picked off one pass. Sounds good until you realize that Houston quit throwing the football in the second half due to the success of their ground attack. Why throw when you don't really have to?
RUSH DEFENSE: D-minus
Where was the gap control? There's really not much more that can be said for a defense that allowed 257 yards on the ground, with 231 (as well as three rushing touchdowns) coming from RB Arian Foster. The Texans rushed for 15 of their 23 total first downs. Houston averaged 6.1 yards per rushing attempt. And what's worse is that the majority of those yards came in the final two quarters when the game was still in doubt.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus
CB Jerraud Powers took over as the punt returner while RB Devin Moore had his first game as a kick returner. Powers had one return for 13 yards while Moore had seven kickoff returns for a 22.1-yard average. He also had a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown brought back after a holding penalty. PK Adam Vinatieri was successful on his only field-goal attempt, hitting from 20 yards out. P Pat McAfee averaged 35.6 yards on six punts. CB Justin Tryon failed to down a ball deep in Texans territory, misjudging the ball and allowing it to roll into the end zone.
The Colts had a hard time figuring out how to pass protect against a heavy Houston rush. Also, Indianapolis didn't do a very good job of adjusting defensively to the Texans' running attack. There appeared to be more confusion than normal for a team that prides itself on making halftime corrections.
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