Mike Wells: OC Pep Takes on Toughest Bye Week Job

You know how defenses win games? Talk to Houston – the league's #1 defense in terms of yards against. Matt Schaub's exploits have dropped them significantly in the ranks of 'Points Against per Game', but as far as that D goes …

Anyway, besides losing Wayne, watching his running game fall apart, and seeing Weslye Saunders rejoin the team, it seems like Pep Hamilton will have his work cut out for him on Sunday, Mike Wells reports.

The task won't be easy Sunday because the Houston Texans have the best defense in the league, giving up only 267.7 total yards a game. 

The area the Colts can potentially exploit the Texans is on the ground. Houston is allowing 122.1 yards a game, which is 28th in the league. The Colts are ninth in the league in rushing yards at 129.3 a game despite not having an active player averaging more than 45.6 yards a game.

In other words, were there a time for T-Rich to make a splash, it's against Houston. I'll rephrase: were there a time for Indy's o-line to make a splash, it would be against Houston. The Texans are starting Case Keenum, so Indy's defense should be able to get the ball back once in a while; in fact, were Indy to use their San Diego 'gameplan' (whatever that was) they would probably make progress against Houston.

The key? Limit turnovers.

Incompletions are fine. Houston is averaging 17.4 points a game (30th); Indy would have to replicate their game against San Diego (nine points) to fall below that mark. Against San Diego, Indy lost more turnovers than their opponent for the first (and only) time this season, so far.

In games that Indy won the turnover battle, they are 4-0

In games they tied, they are 1-1.

In games they lost, they are 0-1.

My point is this: when given chances to win, Indy has. Against San Diego, Indy's offense wasn't given a chance to perform. Houston is second worst in the AFC for turnover differential and fourth worst for total turnovers. The key to the game will be turnovers …

… and the more Indy forces, the more they'll be able to stick with the run game.