HOUSTON (Oct. 23, 2005) -- The Indianapolis Colts want their fast start to pave the way to a big finish.
The Colts, who gave coach Tony Dungy his 100th NFL victory, will have a bye next week before a showdown with New England on Nov. 7.
"It's a good start, but that's all it is," Manning said. "It doesn't guarantee anything. I'm just glad we've taken care of business these first seven weeks. It was important to have some momentum heading into the bye week."
"I'm so proud of them for being able to get in that situation, pick up the tempo and make things happen and pull away," Dungy said. "But the disappointing thing is that we allow ourselves to get in there."
It was the Colts' second straight slow start after coming back from a 17-0 deficit for a 45-28 win against St. Louis.
"There is nothing you can say to describe this," said Texans receiver Jabar Gaffney, who caught a touchdown pass in the first half. "It's terrible. This is the lowest point of my career. It was just really depressing out there."
Manning rebounded from his first-half interception that allowed Houston to be tied at the break and finished 21 of 27 for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
Edgerrin James scored on a 9-yard run on the Colts' first possession of the second half that put them ahead 21-14. The AFC rushing leader finished with 139 yards and two touchdowns.
The Colts scored on their next two possessions to stretch the lead to 31-14, and defensive end Montae Reagor -- a Texas native -- scooped up a fumble and ran 37 yards for their final score.
"We haven't always played our best, but we've stayed the course and continued to fight throughout all 60 minutes of every game," Reagor said.
Houston used a steady dose of running back Domanick Davis in the first half to eat up the clock. He had 85 of his 98 yards and a touchdown before halftime.
Players seemed much more excited about Dungy's milestone than the team's record mark.
"Every player on every team would like to have a coach like Coach Dungy," James said. "It's hard to describe. But if every player around the league got to work for Coach Dungy, they'd probably enjoy it a lot more."
Dungy is the 34th coach to reach 100 wins.
"It gives you a sense of consistency," Dungy said. "That's the biggest thing it means to me."
With that sack, Mathis -- the NFL leader -- set a franchise record by recording one in his seventh straight game.
That touchdown prompted a small group of Texans fans to don paper bags with eye holes, and it elicited streams of boos from the restless crowd.
Carr was 6 of 9 for 48 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He lost 42 yards on five sacks to bring his season total to 35 and called the outing "embarrassing."
Houston, last in the league in offense, had 143 yards at halftime and finished with a miserable 139 -- compared to 437 by Indianapolis.
Notes: Colts TE Dallas Clark had a season-high 51 yards receiving and his first touchdown of the year. ... Mathis' kickoff return TD was the first against Indianapolis since November 2003 when New England's Bethel Johnson scored on a 92-yard return. ... LB DaShon Polk, who started his first game of the season in place of injured Kailee Wong, led Houston with 10 tackles.