As always, I reserve the right to change my mind on any Monday call after I watch the tape
The Colts lost the opener.
In and of itself, this is no big deal.
I’m convinced the Texans are a formidable team, and I predicted this game as a loss months ago, and followed that up on Friday. The Texans made winning this game the focal point of their season. That was likely a mistake that will cost them down the road.
Many fans will be up in arms today over the play of the offensive line. There’s definitely good reason for that. Several members of the line had awful games. Ryan Diem did his best to make sure that Peyton Manning got killed. Jamie Richard looked lost. Charlie Johnson played poorly. Even Jeff Saturday picked up a key holding penalty. Many of these struggles are to be expected. Continuity is more important to a line than any individual player, and yesterday was the first time those five players had played together since the beginning of camp, if then. Honestly, I don’t know if that particular iteration of the line had ever played together.
Fans will also be justifiably upset over the performance of the defense. Words can’t describe how terrible the line and the linebackers played in the second half. Larry Coyer got thoroughly out-coached on the half time adjustments. The secondary played reasonably well, especially Jerraud Powers who seemed to make every big run stop. The rest of the D simply did not show up for the second half. On the key play of the game, a 4th and 1 from the 20 for the Texans, the Colts bottled up Texans RB Arian Foster. Normally, that equates to a stop, but on this day, Clint Session somehow failed to seal the edge and Foster managed to squirt free for the first down.
Truthfully though, I’m not worried about the defense. Yes, they played significantly worse than I expected, but we’ve seen games like this before from the Colts. Any time there is something out of sync with the linebackers, suddenly the rushing yards come in bunches. The corners looked solid (other than one awful play by Hayden), and Freeney and Mathis both made plays at big moments. For now, I’ll assume that whatever glitch the Texans exploited today will be fixed next week.
All in all, it was a tough loss, but the loss itself does not worry me.