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Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange
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PLAYER NOTES

--WR Reggie Wayne, who had eight catches for 106 yards and the game-winning TD against Houston, hopes Thursday night's victory was not his last home game with the Colts. "Oh man, deep down inside, I hope not," Wayne said. "I've been here 11 years. I don't see myself anywhere else. I'm a Hoosier, man."

--QB Dan Orlovsky on leading the Colts to two straight wins (prior to last week's victory over Tennessee and Thursday's win past Houston, Orlovsky had never won a game as a starter in the NFL): "It took me seven years to get one. It feels great. I don't want to downplay it."

--TE Jacob Tamme is enjoying the Colts' two-game winning streak. "It's been a tough year, in almost every aspect. A lot of lesser team would have folded the tent on this one," Tamme said. "It's fun to come out and play and finally get a little bit of our work rewarded."

--RB Joseph Addai says that the Colts can't worry about next spring's draft. For Addai and the rest of the players on the Indianapolis roster, the future is now. "That's not for the players to worry about. I don't worry about that. I just go out and keep playing ball," Addai said.

--OG Joe Reitz and LB A.J. Edds both suffered ankle injuries in the Houston game. There won't be any updates on their injuries, or the status of TE Dallas Clark (neck burner) or LB Philip Wheeler (foot) until later in the week. Clark and Wheeler did not play in the Houston game.

--DE Tyler Brayton made his first-ever start for the Colts at defensive tackle in the Houston game. Brayton replaced DT Antonio Johnson in the Indianapolis defensive lineup.

REPORT CARD VS. TEXANS

PASSING OFFENSE
A-minus -- Yes, the Colts' pass offense was a little sluggish at times against Houston. Especially in the first half. But when the game on the line, Indianapolis cranked things up and found a way to move the football through the air. QB Dan Orlovsky completed 23-of-41 passes for 244 yards and had one touchdown pass, the 1-yard game winner to WR Reggie Wayne. As for Wayne, with the possibility of Thursday night being his last home game with the Colts since he will be a free agent at the end of the season, he desperately wanted to have a big night. And he did, catching eight passes for 106 yards and a TD. Orlovsky was sacked three times but, most importantly, he did not throw an interception.

RUSHING OFFENSE
C-plus -- What a difference five days make. Coming off a strong performance against Tennessee last Sunday, the Colts' running game did just enough to help move the chains in the come-from-behind victory over Houston Thursday night. RB Joseph Addai started and ended the game with 59 yards in 19 carries. RB Donald Brown added 35 yards in 11 attempts after having a career-best 161 yards against the Titans.

PASS DEFENSE
B -- Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates was contained. Yates completed 13-of-16 passes for 132 yards and was sacked four times. He was also pressured an additional three times. The Colts were fortunate that Pro Bowl WR Andre Johnson didn't play as he was held out with a hamstring injury. Still, Indianapolis played relatively well for most of the evening.

RUSH DEFENSE
C -- Indianapolis' run defense always gives up large chunks of yardage to the Texans and Thursday night's meeting wasn't any different. RB Arian Foster had 158 yards in 23 carries and scored Houston's only touchdown of the night with a nine-yard run in the first quarter. As a team, the Texans averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Houston running backs have rushed for 100 yards or more in eight of the 20 meetings between the two franchises.

SPECIAL TEAMS
B-plus -- With the exception of PK Adam Vinatieri's missed 42-yard field goal at the end of the first half, it was a pretty good night for the Colts' special teams units. Vinatieri hit on four of five field goal attempts. P Pat McAfee averaged 38.6 net and 41.8 yards overall on five punts, with two kicks being downed inside the Texans' 20-yard line. He also recorded five touchbacks on kickoffs. Indianapolis had a 20-yard punt return by WR Pierre Garcon and a 17-yard kickoff return by rookie S Joe Lefeged. The Colts did a pretty good job on kickoff and punt coverage as well. That's been a sore spot for Indianapolis against the Texans in recent years.

COACHING
A -- Jim Caldwell isn't worried about draft positioning or what the future may hold in terms of his job as Colts head coach. After getting off to an 0-13 start, Caldwell's team has started to right the ship with a pair of wins over AFC South opponents. There have been questions as to whether he has lost the Colts' locker room. There is no indication that he has.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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