- Associated Press - Monday, September 13, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indy defensive end Robert Mathis is ready to hear the critiques.

Linebacker Clint Session just wants to get things fixed this week.

One day after allowing 257 yards rushing and losing a rare season-opener, the Colts were trying to figure out what went wrong in Sunday’s 34-24 loss at Houston and what must be done to fix it before the hard-running Giants come to Indy.

For the Colts, this is about as embarrassing as it gets.


“You take it very personal because as the defensive line you’re the first line of defense and he (Arian Foster) broke that line quite a bit,” said Mathis, a two-time Pro Bowler. “But you’ve got to be a man and take your lumps. You know it’s coming because we didn’t play a good game, and we’ve got to get better.”

No kidding.

The good news is that Indy (0-1) has some experience to rely upon.

In December 2006, Ron Dayne rushed for 153 yards, leading the Texans to their only other win over the Colts. Two weeks before that game, the tag-team tandem of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew led Jacksonville to a 375-yard day in a 44-17 blowout. The Colts‘ responded to those debacles by demoting linebacker Gilbert Gardner, and then going on to win the second Super Bowl title in franchise history.

The memories of that season is one reason veterans are not yet fretting.

“It’s only one game,” two-time Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea said. “We’ve got a lot of veterans on this defense, and Sunday night, we’ve just got to come out and play better.”

Colts fans have heard all this before.

Critics have long contended that Indy is susceptible to power running teams because of a defensive front seven. So last year, the Colts tried to plug those holes by adding bigger bodies to the defensive line.

It helped, but Indy still gave up 2,024 yards rushing, 24th in the league, and 4.3 yards per carry. During the preseason, opponents averaged 4.4 yards per carry and ran for six TDs, numbers that were routinely excused because of Indy’s previous preseason experiences.

So if Sunday’s performance demonstrated anything, it was this: Indy isn’t good enough yet to stop the run.

On Monday, coach Jim Caldwell explained most of the holes Foster exposed were because Colts' players didn’t fill the right gaps or missed tackles against a “good running” team.

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