Each week Coltzilla will preview the upcoming game by speaking with fellow bloggers who write about the week’s opponent. This week, the Colts come off of their bye and step into a Monday Night Football game against the AFC South rival Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. In Week 1 the Texans made a statement by beating the Colts on the scoreboard, and deflating members of the team late in the game. This week is a chance for redemption. Coltzilla speaks with Dustyn Richardson from Houston Sports and More to get a Texans perspective on the primetime rematch. *Coltzilla’s interview with Houston Sports and More
CZ: The Texans defense is statistically the worst in the league, due primarily to a 32nd ranked pass defense. The team is fourth worst in points per game, giving up an average of nearly 28 points. How do you see the defense matching up against the Colts in Indianapolis?
DR: Historically the defense has not matched up well against the Colts offense which can probably be said for a lot of teams. In order to have success they are going to have to do what they did in the first meeting and that is be on the field as little as possible. The Texans will run Foster a lot and try and give Manning and the Colts offense as little time on the field as possible.
CZ: Do you expect Arian Foster to perform as well as he did in Week 1?
DR: Foster should have a good game. He is the perfect runner for the Texans’ zone blocking running game. He makes one cut and runs downhill. You won’t see him dance at the line of scrimmage much. I don’t think it’s logical to expect him to do what he did in Week 1 but I expect him to get upwards of 125 yards on the ground.
CZ: Assuming that Foster does not have the same kind of dominant performance as he did in Week 1, how will the Texans hang with the Colts, if Indianapolis is able to meet the 28 point average Houston’s defense is allowing?
DR: If Foster is bottled up or they fall behind early, you will see a repeat of the Chiefs game in Week 6. The offense will throw on almost every down. They won’t just go downfield to Johnson though. You’ll see short routes and screens to the TE Daniels and screens and swing routes with the RBs Foster and Slaton. They will simply have to outscore the Colts and if that’s the scenario that plays out I honestly don’t like our chances.
CZ: What will the impact be of moving Brian Cushing to middle linebacker and Bentley to strong-side linebacker?
DR: Cushing is a vocal leader in the defense and that is part of the reason he was moved inside to MLB. In Cushing’s first game back against the Giants he seemed to be out of position a lot going for big hits and over pursuing out of his lanes. Being in the middle will allow him more flexibility to blitz as well. It will be interesting to see what Bentley will be like coming off injury and being thrown into the fire. I’m not sure though that Bentley will get on the field much as the Texans will likely play a lot of nickel defense with Cushing and Diles at LB.
CZ: Teams talk about finding an “identity”, such as a high-powered offense or primarily defensive team, or a team that thrives on big plays. How would you characterize the 2010 Texans’ identity?
DR: That’s a great question and it’s funny you ask that because there has been a lot of talk here in Houston on sports radio and in other places asking just that – Who are the 2010 Texans? If you asked Kubiak what he envisions them being, I think he would like to be a balanced offense that is tops in the league and a defense that is middle of the road that is bend but don’t break. I think right now their identity can only be described as try and score as many points as possible and hang on.
CZ: Texans fans have to be aware that the Colts have been hit by a number of injuries to key players over the last week and a half. A lot of folks probably think that the Colts are even the underdogs in this game, despite an 8-0 home record against Houston. How do the injuries and this switch in roles change the outlook for you or Texans fans in general?
DR: I’ve heard a lot of fans saying the Colts are vulnerable coming into this year and especially after the win in Week 1. Now with the injuries the Colts have had, fans are even more confident that this is the chance to beat the Colts again and take a firm hold on the AFC South. Until we get a win in Indianapolis, I’ll never see us as favorites to win there, especially in a prime time game where the Colts have a great history of winning.
CZ: If the Texans lose, where do they go from here?
DR: The comeback win against the Chiefs was huge. Coming into the Colts game at 3-3 would have been a disaster know that a likely loss would mean a 3-4 record and a big hill to climb to make the playoffs. Being 4-2 and losing to the Colts to fall to 4-3 wouldn’t be the end of the world in my eyes or most fan’s eyes. I think most fans and people around Houston that were pegging the team for 10 wins never expected this game to be one of the 10.
CZ: What is your prediction?
DR: As much as I want to say we will win I can’t go against Manning at night on the big stage. Colts in a close one 33-30.
Coltzilla would like to thank Dustyn for helping preview the Texans this season. Check out Dustyn’s work at Houston Sports and More and follow him on Twitter @housports.