As contention for playoff spots gets tighter each week, the teams in the AFC South continue to fight hard as they jostle for position. The Colts continue to set themselves up well while the Titans put themselves into a bigger hole with a loss to the Jaguars. The Texans will, unless by some miracle, hold the AFC South title for the second year in a row.
The Texans managed to hold off the Detroit Lions in overtime on Thanksgiving this year. Justin Forsett got away with a much needed touchdown late when Lions coach Jim Schwartz broke a rule by trying to challenge a scoring play. Since all plays are automatically reviewed the review was negated by the challenge and unsportsmanlike conduct was called on Schwartz. The Texans don’t care how they came about it, they’re happy with the win. J.J. Watt was instrumental in forcing the Lions out of field goal range with two third down sacks (three in the game) and led the defense to do just enough against a desperate Lions team. Arian Foster had 102 yards on the day with two touchdowns to go with Forsett’s 87 yards on five carries with his 81 yard touchdown run that wasn’t negated due to Schwartz. It was the second overtime victory in a row for the Texans.
T.Y. Hilton had a big day as the Colts pulled away from other AFC teams trying to secure a wild card spot for the playoffs. Hilton had both a receiving and punt return touchdown against the Bills which put him in the franchise record books as the first to do it. Reggie Wayne broke Cris Carter’s record 58 consecutive games with multiple catches and has 59 straight. Wayne finished with over 100 yards yet again as Andrew Luck continues to showcase why he was the first overall pick in the draft. Luck was 20 of 37 for 240 yards, one touchdown, and one pick. The Bills couldn’t get their offense going against a surprisingly tight Indianapolis defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished with 180 yards while feeding Stevie Johnson to 106 yards and putting C.J. Spiller over the century mark on the ground. The Bills didn’t score a touchdown until the game was out of hand. Indianapolis is making a strong case for themselves as the season is winding down. If they can keep playing well enough to win they could be a tough out for any team in the playoffs.
Tennessee traveled down to Jacksonville to put more hurt on the Jaguars at home. The Jaguars had lost every game at Everbank Field this season until Tennessee came in and couldn’t get anything going against the normally porous Jaguar defense. As owner Shahid Khan put it, “hopefully the spell is broken.” Chad Henne can be credited with breaking the string of poor performances from the Jaguars at home. Henne sparked the offense for the second week in a row while going 17 of 26 for 261 yards, two touchdowns, and one tipped interception. After losing three games in overtime this season, it was nice to the see the Jaguars finally finish a game in regulation with a victory. Henne’s first start this season was also his first win as a starter since December 2010. Despite poor offensive line play (the Titans had seven sacks), Henne managed to beat the coverage and find big play after big play. Cecil Shorts III had another big day with over 100 yards as he continues his march toward 1,000. Rookie Justin Blackmon also had another good day with five catches for 62 yards.
Your AFC South Scores:
- Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions: 34-31 OT
- Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo Bills: 20-13
- Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 19-24