I'm reworking my scoring system and so this won't be quite like usual. I've included a few things though that seem to me to be things to consider after the Texans game moving forward.
Things to consider:
I've been reading some irritation regarding Manning's solid but not superman play. To get the most out of PFM, we need a defense that turns the ball over. That is when he's at his best. Duh, you say. Of course this is true for most quarterbacks, but I think Manning is extra special in this regard. During seasons in which the Indy defense forced 2+ TO per game ('03, '04, '05, '07), Manning went 51-13, winning 80% of the time. During the rest of his career without a ballhawking defense, he went 90-54, winning 63% of the time. That is a 3 win per season difference which is huge. Want Manning to be more effective? Get him some turnovers to play with. 3 in 3 games is not enough.
As of this moment, our starting middle linebacker is 300th in the league in tackles. Another way to think about it, is that all 32 teams have 9 players on their defense that have more tackles than our starting MLB. I really wonder how good our defense can be until this is upgraded. Can we make a serious run at the playoffs with this? This has me really troubled.
Back to PFM. Manning is on pace to suffer through 42 sacks. That is more than he's ever had in a single season by a mile, and more than his last 3 years in Indy COMBINED. That is not good. We need Kupe back bad and better pass protection all around. Manning is pretty ordinary when he's laying on his back. At this rate, I hope he survives to see the end of the season.
Last but certainly not least is McCoy. This guy doesn't know how to start a game. Remember our SB teams? They came out of the gate like a bat out of hades and the opponent was fearful from the first snap. This offense is so bland out of the gate that opponents are teeing off on Manning and disrupting every meager call McCoy makes. We've seen this all before folks. I won't mention their names but many were quick to blame them (including me) but now it continues. With our schedule we have got to do a better job right from the get go. Consider this: we've taken a QB with a lifetime 100 quarterback rating in the first quarter and reduced him to 37 rating this year. Yes I know it's a small sample size but we are not getting it done, and considering how Manning plays when he's running no huddle, I don't believe he's the problem. Yuck.
I wish this could have been more positive post. A win over the Raiders will help...