By DAN MATHEWS, SportsRadio 610

I guess that would fly at Texans practice on Wednesday, if you picked this day to be your oblivious to the World.  That being the case, I didn’t and it would be interesting to see how many times the names, “Peyton” or “Manning” were mentioned as the Texans prepare to play the Broncos.

Rightfully so, the veteran quarterback has been quite the nemesis for the hometown 53 over their first 10 seasons of existence.  In fact, Manning is 16-2 over his career against the Texans.  To add insult to injury, the veteran has thrown for over 5,000 yards over his career against Houston.  Plus, he has completed a robust 70 percent of his passes against the team.  So yes, Peyton Manning has been quite the fly in the ointment against the Texans.

The fact of the matter is that this game is different from all the others in the past and that fact was definitely brought up by Manning himself during the conference call with the Houston media.

“I can’t speak for them, but certainly they have a different defensive coordinator since the last time I played them,” Manning said. “I didn’t play last year since Coach Phillips has gotten there and they have some new players. They sure are playing well, that certainly jumps out on film, and guys flying around and really doing a lot of good things on defense, so it’ll be a tough challenge.”

Manning continued his admiration for the Texans defense Renaissance over the past two seasons and it comes with the credentials that Wade Phillips has put together over his years in the league.

“A very well-coached defense, very disciplined,” Manning said

Even though the teams and schemes have changed for both the Broncos and Texans, the players and Gary Kubiak expect Peyton Manning to be the same quarterback that has faced them over the last 10 seasons.

“He’s doing all the things he’s always done,” Kubiak said. “You watch him, like I said, our biggest views of him have been San Francisco preseason and then Pittsburgh and last week. He’s getting them in the right play, getting them in the right thing to do. He’s got a new group that he’s doing it with. That’s what’s impressive, for him to get all that done in such a short period of time.”

Antonio Smith already has an idea for how he will use his experience against Manning on Sunday.

My man’s gonna take me where I need to go,” Smith said.  “As a defensive lineman it’s simple; you can make it hard by trying to guess and anticipating where he’s gonna go all the time. You listen to them calls and you gonna get yourself right out your game. I just go. Wherever his block shows me, that’s what I react off of.”

Peyton Manning’s name speaks for itself and there’s a reason why the man commands the respect around the league he gets.  Guys like Andre Johnson still try to get a glimpse of Peyton in action after all these years in the league.

“He is definitely somebody you get up and like to see him work,” Johnson said.  “Even when you look at the game from the other night, as soon as he comes off the field, he’s studying those pictures to see what he could’ve done better and getting defensive looks and things like that.”

Andre has also seen first-hand the type of competitor that Manning is, when he’s teamed up with him at the Pro Bowl.

“Even at the Pro Bowl, guys are not really playing hard, but Peyton runs in the huddle and wants to get after these guys like we’re about to play a real game,” Johnson said.

The Broncos signal caller will continue to be a huge topic of conversation as we get closer to Sunday.  However, we would be missing other stories in the process, especially from Wednesday.

Quick Hits:

–          JJ Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.  He is the Texans sixth different player to get the honor and he added some perspective to how much the award means to him.

“I mean, it’s crazy. I was delivering pizzas four or five years ago and now I get awards like this,” Watt said.  “It’s unbelievable to me. I’m honored to have the award but it’s a lot cooler for everyone else who helped me get here.”

Among the people that Watt thanked were his coaches in high school and parents just to name a few.  He’s also looking forward to facing Peyton Manning for the first time on Sunday.

“I’m excited about it but I want to sack him, too,” Watt said.  “I want to have No. 18 on my sack list. That’s my goal.”

–          The Texans will also be facing Joel Dreessen for the first time since he signed with the Broncos.

–          Antonio Smith will have his day to plead his case against the NFL for his $21,000 dollar fine after the incident with Dolphins Offensive Guard Richie Incognito.  That day will be next Tuesday.

–          The Ninja Warrior has also been going by the name of “Tonestradamus” and predicts that Connor Barwin will have two sacks on Sunday.


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