Indianapolis 24 - Houston 34
Well, Houston finally learned how to finish the Colts off. I knew Houston would likely take at least one of the games in this series, so this one isn't a huge surprise to me. They've got a ton of playmakers on that team, and should be very competitive this year. They may even compete for the AFC South title.
I really hope that this first game isn't the initial sign of a Superbowl slump for the Colts. I'm not sure how well I will be able to handle them not making the playoffs. I would probably have a nervous breakdown.
What Impressed Me:
Arian Foster: What an animal! I noted in an earlier blog entry that I thought Foster would be a stud this year, but I didn't expect him to rush for 230 yards in just the first game! He showed a good combination of speed and power as he really just blew up the Colts' run defense. He should have a good year this year.
Austin Collie: Collie made a lot of really good plays in this game. He ended up being the top target for Peyton Manning, as he ended up with 11 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. He did a great job of getting open and catching it when it was thrown to him, unlike teammate Pierre Garcon who was plagued with a case of the drops on Sunday.
What Didn't Impress Me:
The Colts' Defense: After everyone in the preseason talking about how this would be the best Colts defense in the Peyton Manning era, they go an let Arian Foster run for 230 yards and allow the Houston Texans to put up 34 points on them. Now, Houston does have a very good offense, but 230 yards and 34 points are big numbers. They need to drastically improve if they expect to contend for a playoff spot.
Bob Sanders: News on Bob Sanders is that he has a torn bicep muscle. This isn't the same bicep muscle he tore last time, but apparently his other one. There is a good chance that his season is finished. I don't know why, but after seeing Bob so healthy all preseason, I had hope that he would return to the same form of his Defensive MVP year. Instead, it will be another year of Melvin Bullitt. While Melvin Bullitt is a solid playmaker in Bob's place, he is nowhere near the impact player. I for one am getting pretty frustrated paying all this money to Mr. Sanders while he sits out every year with injuries. I'm thinking it is about time to cut ties with Bob. We can play with Melvin Bullitt or draft someone as the replacement, either way, I think Bob's career with the Colts is close to over.
The Colts' Offensive Line: This was the biggest question mark coming into this game. They didn't really dismiss the concerns at all. They gave up 2 sacks and allowed Peyton Manning to receive essentially a constant flow of pressure throughout the game. Not a lot can be said for the run game, because they were forced to abandon the run early. While Peyton Manning can make up for some sub-par offensive line play with his quick release, the offensive line woes could cause a problem down the road.
Pierre Garcon: Too many drops. He was targeted 10 times by Peyton Manning and only caught 3 of those passes. He did have a pretty spectacular one handed catch for a nice gain down the right sideline, but he has got to be able to make the catch when Peyton throws him a catchable ball.