It’s official – the Colts will ride Peyton-less into Sunday’s game against the Texans. Even with Peyton, the Texans stunned much of footballdom when they beat the Indianapolis team in last year’s opener. Looks like a repeat, but no one is expected to be stunned this time.
The Texans will be dealing with a deficit of their own, one that played a prominent part in last year’s defeat of the Colts – Arian Foster, who helped crush the Colts in last season’s opener with 231 yards rushing and three touchdowns, is questionable for Sunday’s game. He’s working through a hamstring injury and will be a game-time decision according to Texans coach Gary Kubiak.
The Colts still have a powerful offense at their command even without Peyton to lead the charge. Kerry Collins was lured out of retirement to bolster the roster while Peyton’s recovery ran long. Kerry has plenty of experience behind the center – he’s taken teams to the championships and made 177 starts. But he’s only had two weeks with this team and didn’t even play a preseason game with them. Still, with Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Pierre Garcon, they have plenty of firepower.
The Texans are fielding an awesome offense even without Foster – Matt Schaub has only been improving every year and he’s got some powerful weapons in Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and a bevy of talented receivers.
The real story with the Texans has been a vastly improved defense under Wade Phillips. Touting 15 sacks and 4 turnovers in the preseason, Phillips has made good on his reputation of turning around troubled defensive teams.
With the odds makers putting the Texans ahead by nine points in the game, the only ones who aren’t certain of a Texans victory is the Colts. Even with Collins’ determination, professionalism and work ethic, it still looks like the only thing certain for the Colts is desperation.