Colts Know They Must Improve
LB Philip Wheeler (Ronald Martinez/Getty)
LB Philip Wheeler (Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Posted Sep 13, 2010


Improve. That was the message in the Indianapolis Colts locker room after a season-opening loss to the Houston Texans.

The Colts looked anything but like the defending AFC champions in the way that they lost to Houston. Far too many mental and physical mistakes cost Indianapolis against the Texans.

And things certainly don't get much easier this week. Indianapolis has a nationally-televised home game with the New York Giants coming up Monday night — Manning Bowl II.

"The big thing that we have to do is look at the film, see those things that need corrected and move on because it doesn't get any easier," coach Jim Caldwell said.

"There will be a lot of things to correct. But there will also be a lot of things that we can build upon. We've just got to make a few adjustments and move on. This team has a lot of pride. We'll make those adjustments and move forward."

Quarterback Peyton Manning agrees.

"We'll learn (from the loss to the Texans). And I think we'll improve from it," Manning said. "It is what it is. It's one game. Is it disappointing? Absolutely. You put a lot of emphasis into the first game and you want to get it started off right.

"We have won more opening games that we've lost. (Losing) is not fun. I think we have to have a good week of practice. We have to improve. And we have a really tough game coming up Sunday night. It's important to improve fast."

As much as the Colts struggled to get things going against Houston, there won't be any panic heading into the Giants game.

"We have high standards. Hopefully we can get (the mistakes) fixed. I think that all the mistakes that we had are correctable, which is encouraging," the Indianapolis quarterback said.

"It's important for us to be a little more sound. (The Texans) made a lot of plays, but we did some things that kind of hurt ourselves."

Caldwell wants to put the Houston loss behind his team as quickly as possible.

"It's more of a marathon than a sprint," the Colts coach said. "We believe in what we're doing."

TRENDING: A Colts defense that had looked to be improved heading into this season surely didn't play like it in the Houston game.

Indianapolis allowed 256 yards on the ground — giving up 231 yards and three touchdowns to running back Arian Foster — and 354 yards overall.

That's got to improve against the Giants.

"It's a bitter taste," said safety Antoine Bethea. "But New York is going to get our best shot."

LINEUP WATCH: Safety Bob Sanders injured his elbow in the first quarter and did not return. It was Sanders' first regular-season game back after missing most of last year with a torn biceps.

Wide receiver Anthony Gonzales left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and also didn't return. Gonzalez had missed all but one game last season with a knee injury.

Their status for the Giants game won't be known until later in the week.

"We do have some people capable of stepping in. We have some guys that can step in and meet the challenges," Caldwell said.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES:

  • QB Peyton Manning completed 40-of-57 passes for 433 yards and three touchdowns. His 57 pass attempts are a career single-game high (previous was 56 against San Diego in 2007). The 40 completions are also a single-game career high (the best prior to that was 37 against Tennessee in 2002).

    Manning's 57 pass attempts tied the franchise record for the second most in a game (57, Jack Trudeau vs. the Jets, 1986). Jeff George had 59 pass attempts against the Redskins in 1993.

  • Manning's 40 completions in the Houston game is a franchise single-game mark, surpassing Jeff George's 37 completions against the Redskins in 1993.

  • WR Austin Collie had 10 receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown against the Texans. He had single-game career highs for receptions (previous high was eight against Tennessee last year) and yards (previous high was 97 against Tennessee in 2009).

  • TE Dallas Clark got off to a slow start but ended the Houston game with 11 receptions for 80 yards.

  • C Jeff Saturday (knee) started the game. He played the entire game.

  • OT Charlie Johnson (foot) started at left offensive tackle against the Texans and played the entire game. --CB Jacob Lacey (head), RB Mike Hart, TE Gijon Robinson, LB Cody Flenn (hamstring), OG JAcques McClendon, DT Ricardo Mathews, DE Jerry Hughes and OT Joe Reitz were pregame inactives.

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