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Sunday September 11th, 2011

Kerry Collins was harrassed often in the first quarter against the Texans. (AP)

Kerry Collins' first quarter as the Indianapolis starting quarterback was everything Colts fans feared with Peyton Manning out. Collins was sacked twice and coughed up a pair of fumbles in the opening 15 minutes, helping Houston to a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Texans doubled up in the second, staking Houston to a remarkable 34-0 lead at the half before winning, 34-7.

According to ESPN, that 34-point hole was the largest halftime deficit in Colts history.

The 37-year-old Collins did complete the only three passes he attempted in the first, picking up 25 yards. He finished the half 16 of 31 for 197 yards and a touchdown, a 6-yard pass to Reggie Wayne.

Definitely not helping Collins' cause is the Colts' swiss-cheese offensive line, which had all sorts of trouble blocking against Houston's revamped 3-4 defense. The Texans switched over from the 4-3 in the offseason, following the hire of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

There were some rough moments for the Texans' defense in the preseason, too, as it tried to adjust to the new scheme. The biggest move of all in Phillips' 3-4 is sliding Mario Williams to an outside linebacker spot, but Williams looked right at home early Sunday, picking up two of the Texans' three sacks. We may not be far away from the 2011 debut of Colts backup QB Curtis Painter, who replaced Manning twice late in the 2009 season but has not played since then. He and Dan Orlovsky were battling for the backup role earlier this offseason, with Painter winning the job.

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