Did you know? -- OLB Robert Mathis has a league-leading 11.5 sacks heading into the Houston game. “The guy is just a pro. Takes care of himself and he works at his craft. He seems to be in the right spot because he’s always playing his tail off. He’s always full speed. His motor doesn’t stop,” the Colts head coach said. Mathis, who was named as the AFC Defensive Player of the Month, has had at least one sack in six of the Colts’ seven games this season.
Stat of the week -- The Colts have turned the ball over six times this season, which ranks first in the NFL. The six turnovers are tied for the fourth-fewest through seven games in franchise history.
By the numbers -- 28/227. Indianapolis has committed 28 penalties for 277 yards so far this season. Both numbers rank the Colts first in the league in each category.
The game plan -- Control the tempo offensively. Be aggressive defensively.
The Colts’ running game continues to be a work in progress, but the team has had success at times moving the ball on the ground. Indianapolis ranks ninth in the league in rushing yards per game (129.3) and seventh in rushing yards per play (4.55).
By keeping the ball on the ground and taking what a tough Houston defense gives them, not forcing plays that aren’t there, the Colts want to be able to control the game’s tempo. But it won’t be easy. Houston’s defense ranks first in the league for the fewest yards allowed per game (267.7) and in passing yards per game (145.6).
Defensively, Indianapolis has to be able to force turnovers against a Texans offensive unit that has had issues with protecting the football. Houston will start a young quarterback, so keeping him off balance and off-rhythm are crucial.