Manning lacking targets over the middle?

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
11:08
AM ET
The Houston Texans will try to sweep the season series from the Indianapolis Colts for the first time in franchise history (on ESPN, coverage begins at 7 ET). However, not only are the Texans 0-8 at Indianapolis, but since the divisions were realigned in 2002, the only AFC South team to sweep the season series from the Colts was the Tennessee Titans in 2002.

With Dallas Clark and Austin Collie out with injuries, Peyton Manning will be without two of his best targets over the middle. Clark has caught 99 of the 131 balls thrown his way inside the numbers the last two seasons, picking up nine touchdowns and 56 first downs.

But this season, with both Clark and Collie in the lineup, Reggie Wayne has increased his role in the middle of the field. Wayne has more targets inside the numbers than Collie (and just two fewer than Clark), with more yards than Clark and more first downs than any other Colts player.

In fact, the percentage of Wayne's targets that have come inside the numbers has increased in each of the last two seasons, from 47.7 percent in 2008, to 49.7 percent in 2009, to 56.1 percent this season.

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