How Peyton Manning Should Attack the Houston Texans Defense in Week 3

Sarah MarshallContributor ISeptember 17, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos warms up prior to the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL season opener at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos will take on Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans Sunday night, the first challenge for the Texans this season. In their first two games of the 2012 NFL season, the Houston Texans have faced an easy schedule, easily beating the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 1 and 2. The Texans defense has lived up to the hype, limiting the Jaguars to just 43 yards in the first half Sunday afternoon.

Coming into the 2012 season, the Houston Texans—and its rock solid defense—have been pegged as Super Bowl contenders. So, how should Peyton Manning attack the Texans defense?

Last year, the Texans ranked fourth in rushing defense, allowing 96 yards per game. In the 2012 preseason, the defense allowed 110 yards per game. The Texans also lost LB Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans in the offseason and are filling those holes with first-round pick, Whitney Mercilus and veteran, Bradie James. 

Peyton Manning's attack should start with having a stellar offensive line. Without the protection, Manning will be sacked or forced into making a rushed play. The defensive pressure will have Manning running in and out of the pocket and scanning the field. Manning should also stick to the no-huddle, hurry up offense that he is so good at. 

With Manning's experience, the defensive pressure shouldn't get to him and I am confident he will be able to make a play. Because Houston is great in rushing defense, I think Manning should attack by making a quick pass to a WR. This would cause the Texans defense to get out of their comfort zone, while also cutting the chances of a sack and re-injuring Manning's neck.

By using Manning's and the offensive line's experience to their advantage, the Houston Texans' youth will expose the cracks in their defense. Manning should attack by taking control of the tempo of the game early and relying on passes to Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Stokley. 

This game will be a test for both teams: to see how good Houston's defense is against a veteran squad, and to see how well Peyton Manning holds up against a young defense that has allowed 10 or less points in Weeks 1 and 2.

As long as Manning stays in attack mode, the Broncos will come out on top.