The smoke is from the smoldering ash heap formerly known as Peyton Manning.
Well, that was something, wasn't it?
Before I go on to do my quick-and-dirty analysis, I'd like to give a shout out to Peyton Manning. He is an absolute wizard on the football field, and if he didn't play for the Colts, we'd all be talking about how amazing he is.
Now then. On to the game.
If I had told you before this game that the magic crystal ball had revealed that Manning would throw for 400+ yards and three scores while teh Schaub only went for 107 (with Dre only going for 33 yards) I'm sure you would have rolled your eyes and said something like, "f&^%ing Texans" or "fire Kubiak" or something like that.
Funny how things turn out sometimes, innit?
Let the Daddy Mack take you across the jump.
Let me be clear about this. The Texans just fuckstomped the Colts. Badly. If it weren't for Peyton Manning, the Colts might not have scored a single point. I don't know if any other qb in the league could have put up those kinds of numbers in the face of that kind of heat.
To start with, the Texans dominated the line of scrimmage. On both sides of the ball. Maybe it was a little more apparent on the offensive side of the ball, but make no mistake, our defensive line showed up bigger than sixteen-year old's junk on a nude beach. They managed to harass Manning all day long, forcing him to throw from uncomfortable angles and they hit him a bunch. Mario had a huge game and has now sacked Manning more than any other person in the history of mankind. Shame we didn't draft Reggie Bush, huh?
Give Amobi credit where it is due as well - he didn't notch any sacks, but he got upfield in a hurry and (without doing a detailed analysis) he seemed pretty good in the run game as well.
Kareem Jackson played a pretty good game, considering it was his first pro start and he was facing one of the best quarterbacks in history. Zack Diles and DeMeco Ryans were solid, although I still worry about people trying to make too many arm tackles back there. For now, those of us who doubted Bill Kollar and Frank Bush (a group in which I include myself) have been served a pretty steamy dose of shut-the-hell-up.
And Kubiak? Oh, Kubiak. Even a skeptic like myself must give you credit for doing things like calling time out when it looked like the Colts might sneak an onside kick to Viniateri. So I'll lay off you today Gary, like I laid off your momma the other night. Burn!
On offense, what can I say? Perhaps our o-line isn't as bad as we thought. The Colts' d-line just walked into a back-alley mugging and came out stripped down to their boxers and with ladies makeup on. Perhaps also, a few key subtractions (Alex Gibbs, Steve Slaton, Kasey Studdard) and a few key additions (Rick Dennison, Socrates the Pterodactyl) make for a big difference. It also didn't hurt that
Glass Joe Barbaro Bob Sanders didn't play much, but still. This is a very good professional football team (that, according to Colts partisans, was as healthy as it has ever been) that just got beaten upside the head with an eight ball in a sock to the point where it gave up. That's right. The defending AFC champs, Super Bowl runners-up, just gave up. Because they got the ever-living shit kicked out of them. By the Texans. The Houston Texans.
Let that sink in for a while, sports fans.
Really, I can only think of three drawbacks to this game:
-AJ and Jacoby dropped some balls.
-Matt Schaub with another stupid pick.
-Connor Barwin's injury.
But don't let that get you down, friends. Our boys did something they've always threatened to do but never really managed to pull off. They beat the tar out of a very good team.
This is going to be a fun season to watch, y'all.