709The Texans survived a week of media frenzy with a wrap-up Friday practice session this afternoon. The squad has fielded numerous questions that surrounding the Colts arrival into Houston this weekend, the quarterback in particular.
But the Texans are determined to keep Manning from breaking Dan Marino's single-season touchdown record this Sunday. They wish him all the best, but not on their watch.
Manning needs to throw four times into the end zone to tie Marino's 48-touchdown pass record. Five would put him over that total. But you've heard this all before …. For the past week, who hasn't?
The plan is simple. Play flawless football and keep the Colts on the defensive. The execution isn't as easy. But the Texans are fired up and ready to take on the challenge.
"You've got to try to get takeaways," head coach Dom Capers said about Texan 'musts' on Sunday. "They've been running this thing for a long time. Peyton's very good at it. They just force you to be very efficient and let you do it. They're good, they're going to move the ball on everybody they play but hopefully you can limit the number of times they get into the end zone."
Capers is right. Individual honors are not at stake in the Texans' world this week. The number one priority, as always, is to win.
So the Texans defense will look for ways to dismember the Colts potent offensive gang of Manning, running back Edgerrin James, receivers Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. The crew doesn't miss a beat, but hopefully, the Texans defense can force them to step out of rhythm in their home venue.
"He has a great supporting cast and he's a great quarterback, I'm not taking anything away from him," Texans quarterback David Carr said. "The other 10 guys are all on the same page every play. You don't see a guy taking a play off. You don't see a guy missing a block and then ruining the whole game. If one guy messes up the other 10 guys make it look like nothing happens."
Re-joining Houston's defensive unit this week will be safety Jason Simmons, who missed seven games after suffering a concussion at Tennessee Oct. 17. Simmons will be starting at free safety in place of the position regular, Marcus Coleman, who was placed on the Texans injured reserve list Tuesday.
Simmons, a seven-year veteran in the defensive backfield, has played both cornerback, nickel back and both safety spots. Already this season, Simmons has made two starts at strong safety so the Texans are confident that his experience and versatility will make for a seamless transition.
"He's played every position back there so he's a smart guy," Capers said. "He's our call guy back there. All of the defensive backs have tremendous confidence in Jason and he's played against this offense before."
The Texans look for the club's first-ever win against Indianapolis after dropping five games over almost three seasons. A win Sunday would give the Texans a 4-1 record in the AFC South and consecutive victories in front of a home Reliant Stadium audience.