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Carr, Texans' offense struggle again

9/22/2002

HOUSTON (AP) -- Peyton Manning gave the rookie quarterback a few
lessons in reading defenses.

Question on the Texans: Will the Texans score another offensive TD this season?
Yes, they will. Football is a hard business but these guys are professionals. It's important to be a team. They can't have a collection of individuals. The Texans will score. They're going to be OK, but it will take a while.

Question on the Colts: Do the Colts have a consistent enough receiving threat opposite Marvin Harrison?

I think so. In Week 1, Qadry Ismail showed he could be explosive and is a good No. 2. It's a matter of using the other guys and finding their best routes. Harrison is an awesome player, with or without a No. 2, he's a great asset to the Colts.

Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Manning threw touchdown passes of 42 and 43 yards and helped set
up three field goals by Mike Vanderjagt to lead Indianapolis to a
23-3 victory Sunday over Houston.

"It's an expansion team, but these are good players,'' said
Manning, relaxing after the game in boots and a cowboy hat.

Manning, who threw three interceptions in last week's loss to
Miami, quieted the Texans' boisterous crowd of 69,204 with a
perfectly lofted 42-yard pass to Qadry Ismail, who slipped behind
the secondary in the first quarter.

Houston's David Carr clearly was impressed by Manning.

"That's where I want to be as a quarterback, and that's where
the guys around me want to be,'' Carr said. "They've been together
four or five years. When he checks off, there is no indecision.
They all know what he's going to do.

Manning completed 21 of 28 passes for 272 yards. He didn't have
an interception and was sacked three times for 21 yards in losses.

"It was a difficult game,'' Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "We
kind of had things going the right way, but we couldn't put these
guys away. We made some mistakes that kind of caused us to
self-destruct. But overall, when you go on the road and get a win,
you take it.''

Vanderjagt had field goals of 26 and 39 yards in the second
quarter, the 26-yarder set up by Idrees Bashir's interception at
Houston's 41, giving Indianapolis (2-1) a 13-0 lead at the half.

The Texans (1-2) tried for a comeback in the third quarter
behind the running of rookie Jonathan Wells, who rushed 42 yards in
a 56-yard drive to set up Houston's only score, a 24-yard field
goal by Kris Brown.

That 13-3 lead stood until 4:06 left. Manning threw on the
sideline to Reggie Wayne, who caught the ball after it bounced out
of the hands of cornerback Marcus Coleman, and ran into the end
zone for a 43-yard touchdown.

The Texans asked for a replay review to see if Wayne was out of
bounds, but the play stood. Coleman also was burned by Ismail on
his TD catch.

"It looked like some guys were playing one defense and some
guys were playing another,'' Manning said of his TD pass to Ismail.
"You don't see guys that open in the NFL.''

Vanderjagt kicked his 37-yarder with 1:11 to play.

Carr, sacked nine times in last week's 24-3 loss to San Diego
and six times in a season-opening victory over Dallas, eluded any
first-half sacks by throwing short passes and using his running
game.

It still didn't get the Houston offense, ranked last in the NFL,
in gear. The closest the Texans could get was a 54-yard field goal
attempt by Brown in the second quarter that had good distance but
bounced off the right upright.

Carr was sacked four times and finished 12 of 22 for 99 yards as
the Texans failed to score a touchdown for the second straight
game.

Wells gave the offense a push by running for 93 yards on 14
carries, the best day for a Houston runner.

"We heard all week that the running game was not doing its job.
I kind of took that personal,'' Wells said. "I wanted to do it for
myself and for the team today.''

Manning handled the Houston defense, ranked No. 6 in the league,
on the Colts' second possession, starting with a 26-yard completion
to Marvin Harrison at the Colts' 47. Harrison extended his club
record of catching at least one pass in a game to 95.

Moments later, Manning connected with Ismail for the first
touchdown. Ismail swung about two steps behind Coleman, caught the
ball and trotted into the end zone.

Game notes
Manning has fond memories of attending Oilers games when
his father, Archie, was the quarterback. He said he used to
retrieve kicking tees at games. ... The Colts' defense hasn't
allowed a touchdown in six quarters. ... Indianapolis is 2-0 in
division road games.