The Texans took the practice field for one final team session in preparation for Sunday's contest against the Colts' high-octane offense.
Houston's defensive unit prepares for an Indianapolis offense that scores the most posts per game in the NFL, led by their top-ranked passing game. This week's the focus has been two-pronged, keep the Colts' offense off the field as much as possible and when they do take the field, contain the triple-threat of Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Egerrin James.
"You can't have too many three-and-outs against these guys," head coach Dom Capers said. "You give them the ball too much, we saw that last year in here, we entered the fourth quarter up 17-3 and but we didn't make a first down in the fourth quarter. That's not a good formula against that offense. It's a little bit like playing Russian roulette, sooner or later, that bullet's going to come out."
In the second matchup between the Texans and Colts last season in Reliant Stadium, Houston led 17-3 heading into the final 15 minutes of play, but gave up 17 unanswered points in the final minutes as Mike Vanderjagt's 43-yard field goal gave Indianapolis a 20-17 win as time expired.
The Texans have no plans of reenacting that last meeting. In fact, the Texans offense knows that if they don't keep pace in the scoring frenzy, the chances to come out on top are somewhat daunting.
"We have to take advantage of every opportunity that we get," quarterback David Carr said. "We have to score every time we get the ball because they can likely do the same thing."
The offense will have to fend without starting right tackle Todd Wade, who will sit out this week to rest a sprained left ankle. Wade initially suffered the injury on October 10 against Minnesota and was inactive the following week at Tennessee. Wade returned to action on Battle Red Day against the Jaguars but re-aggravated the ankle last week in Denver.
"After watching him last week, we thought that he kind of set himself back a little bit – we took him out at halftime," Capers said about the Denver game. "Todd's one of those guys that wants to play every play and you kind of have to put the reins on him. We just think that in terms of getting him back for the next week that we're better off holding him out of the game this week."
Also not practicing this week were running back Tony Hollings with a hamstring injury and safety Jason Simmons who left the game at Tennessee with a concussion after making a crushing hit on Titans running back Chris Brown.
The Texans kick off at noon CT in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Houston is 0-4 against AFC South rival Indianapolis.