2011 Indianapolis Colts: 3 Reasons Why the Colts Should Fear the Houston Texans
The Indianapolis Colts have dominated the AFC South Division since it was created in 2002, being crowned champions seven out of the nine seasons.
The Tennessee Titans have been the only team to stand in their way of the division title, once in 2002 and the other in 2008.
The Texans have yet to reach the postseason since the franchise was created in 2002, but that drought may be coming to a close.
Here are three reasons why the Colts should be on the lookout for the Texans this season.
Houston's Explosive Offense
The Texans have one of the most powerful offenses in football, and the Colts know that better than anyone.
In the opening game of last season, Houston lit up the Colts defense for 34 points behind Arian Foster's three touchdowns and 231 yards rushing.
The two met later in the season, and the Colts defense held the Texans to just 17 points.
They split the season series, but even though that doesn't sound like much, that is an improvement for the up-and-coming Houston squad.
The Texans ranked third in the league in total offense last season, averaging 386.6 yards per game, and ninth in the league in points per game with 24.4.
Wide receiver Andre Johnson could cause a lot of problems for the Indianapolis secondary that lost Pro Bowler Bob Sanders.
Arian Foster had a breakout season last season, winning the rushing title and scoring 16 rushing touchdowns.
The Texans high-powered offense led by quarterback Matt Schaub will be a tough matchup for the Colts defense this season and for many seasons to come.
Any football fan knows that when two teams from the same division play, the intensity is always there.
Regardless of the records, any divisional game is a matter of respect and pride, which tends to bring out the true talent in players.
The Colts and Texans are no exception.
It may not be a well-known rivalry, but it is safe to say that these teams do not like one another.
Look at it from the Texans' perspective; who do you want to beat more than the team that wins your division just about every season?
The Texans are an up-and-coming team heading into next season, and there is no doubt the two games against the Colts are circled on their schedule.
Look for Houston to bring their A game when facing Indianapolis this season, especially in Week 1, when they will try to make a statement.
Peyton Manning's Injury
It was recently reported that Peyton Manning will not be ready for training camp due to a neck injury.
Peyton has had two surgeries in the past 15 months, and has not been able to receive proper medical care from the Colts staff due to the lockout.
It is unclear as to when he will return to play, but knowing Peyton Manning, he won't be out for long.
Assuming he is ready for the beginning of the season, he will head into Week 1 having just recovered from a serious injury.
And who do the Colts play in Week 1? The Houston Texans.
The Colts will go into Houston and face a hungry Texans team that would love nothing more than to beat the defending AFC South champions.
Whoever is playing quarterback will go up against the likes of Mario Williams and the Texans defense, and if that quarterback is Manning, expect the Texans to apply extra pressure.