Following a nail-biting victory over the Dolphins in Week 2, it seemed the ’09 campaign would be much like last season for the Colts. In 2008, eight of the Colts’ 12victories were decided by seven points or less.

Colts Texans Football

With Sage out of the picture, can the Texans finally get the best of the Colts?

However, that hasn’t been the case.

Despite the “slow” start, the Colts have been mowing down opponents of late. They have defeated their last four opponents by a combined score of 138- 42.

New defensive coordinator Larry Coyer looks like a genius. The Colts are giving up just 12.8 points per game and are currently a top-10 ranked defense — despite playing much of the season with a decimated secondary.

They are energized, blitzing, and getting off the field.

But back to reality Colts’ fans.

In their first six games, the Colts have only faced one team (Arizona) with a winning record. The other five wins came against teams with a combined record of 7-24.

There is a tougher road ahead.

Of the Colts’ next five opponents, none have a losing record.

In fact, only two opponents left on the schedule -Tennessee and Buffalo — have losing records.

One team in particular has its sights set squarely on the Colts. The Texans (4-3) will have two shots to beat the Colts in November — a feat they have accomplished just once in their existence.

After a slow start, the Texans are on a roll and quarterback Matt Schaub has the offense clicking on all cylinders.

The Texans will be the first team with a top-10 offense the Colts have faced this season.

In addition, six of the Colts’ final 10 opponents have an offense ranked in the top half of the league.

Fortunately for the Colts, a split with the Texans all but secures the team’s sixth AFC South crown in seven seasons.

But winning division titles and racking up regular-season victories isn’t enough for a franchise looking to embed itself with the Steelers and Patriots of the NFL world.

Two home games in particular — New England (11/15) and Denver (12/13) — could play a huge role in determining homefield advantage in the AFC. And we all know what happens when the Colts are forced to pack their bags for Foxboro in the dead of winter.

To reach that level, the Colts will need homefield advantage. The road leading to that goal begins Sunday, when the schedule stiffens.