Behind Enemy Lines: Part II

The Colts travel to Houston Sunday for a "must win" game against the Texans. ColtPower.com editor Eric Hartz has five questions for Charlie Bernstein, the Editor-In-Chief of BattleRedNation.com. Find out how the Texans are preparing for the Colts inside!

Eric Hartz: Because Hurricane Ike forced the Texans into an unscheduled bye in Week 2, this is Houston's home opener. Will that be a positive or negative for the team this Sunday?

Charlie Bernstein: I think the Texans fans have been itching for a home game, and although the 0-3 start certainly took some wind out of the sails of their loyal followers, Indianapolis is always a big draw. The team certainly looks forward to getting on their home turf.

EH: C.C. Brown was lost for the season this week and Houston is facing some other injuries in the defensive backfield. Who will have to step up in the secondary and do they have a chance against Peyton Manning and the Colts' receivers?

CB: At full strength, the Colts receivers are a mismatch for the Texans secondary. Jacques Reeves was given a large free agent contract to not so much be a shut-down type of corner, but at the very least a good cover corner. That hasn't happened yet. Reeves and fellow corner Fred Bennett need to step up and so does nickel corner DeMarcus "Petey" Faggins, who will receive a lot of playing time as the Texans will likely be in their nickel as a base defense.

EH: Let's talk running backs. The position has been a revolving door for the Texans the last few years, but rookie Steve Slaton recently unseated Ahman Green for the featured role. What do the Texans like about Slaton, and is he the all-purpose back they've been looking for?

CB: Steve Slaton has been very impressive thus far, as he's shown great speed and an ability to catch the ball well out of the backfield. The real surprising thing about Slaton is that he's a lot more physical than many believed he would be. I believe he'd be better as a complimentary back, but he's carrying the Texans rushing game so far.

EH: After 10 catches in the Texans' opener, star receiver Andre Johnson has caught just five balls in the last two games and still hasn't found the end zone this season. Is there cause for concern there, or is Matt Schaub spreading the ball around more? How do you see Johnson faring against the Colts secondary Sunday?

CB: Teams have been keying on Johnson over the last two games, and that's opened things up for tight end Owen Daniels and wide receiver Kevin Walter. Schaub hasn't forced the ball Johnson's way, and although he did drop a few passes in the Jacksonville game, he appears at 100 percent. If Schaub has time to throw, Johnson will represent a mismatch against either of the Colts corners.

EH: What's the mood in Houston after Sunday's overtime heartbreaker to the Jaguars, in which Jacksonville scored on its last five possessions of the game? It seems like the Texans are always just a few plays away from knocking off highly-regarded opponents. Is this is the week they break through?

CB: Houston is one of those very talented teams that can beat a contender on a given week, but usually don't. The problem is that they haven't won big games in the past and they have no real positive experience to look back to when things get tough. Although the Colts come in with injury issues, and the Texans crowd should be enthusiastic, Indianapolis has far too many matchup problems for Houston and the best winless team in football will likely remain that way Sunday evening.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.


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