AFC South Break Down: Week 10
(Jeanne Alexis writes for Black & Teal, which is FSB’s Jacksonville Jaguars blog. Representing the rest of the AFC South are Naptown’s Finest, Titan Sized and Toro Times.)
The AFC South is not the division it was last year, that much is obvious and is something I have repeated more than once over the course of the season. However, this isn’t a bad thing. While the Colts, the Jaguars and the Texans leave something to be desired (much like the rest of the AFC) the Titans are the strongest team in the league. Yes, they are better than the New York Giants and it isn’t just because the Titans are undefeated. The Titans are just plain old dominating. If you’re the type to feel that “we play in a hard division” pride, the AFC South measures up to the NFC East in a lot of ways. Too bad they are probably only sending one team to the playoffs this year.
Looking back: The Ravens made the Texans look silly. The Ravens scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. This was due in part because Sage Rosenfels seemed to think that Ray Lewis was a Texan. The Texans had four turnovers and they were all because Rosefels made mistakes. These two stats together say everything: Sage threw for almost 300 yards and the final score was 41-13. Something just isn’t right there.
Looking forward: You’ll never be a respectable NFL team if you have a dude named Sage heading up your offense, especially if you’re talking on a Manning on their turf next week. On the plus side, the Texans are out of the post-season race so if they are vying for a good draft pick a loss to the Colts would be a good thing!
Looking back: Last week I wasn’t sure if the Colts had found their groove yet. This week I am entirely convinced that Bob Sanders really was as important to the defense as everyone made him out to be. The Colts have two very tough, deserved wins next to their names from the last two weeks and they have won those games in the traditional Colts fashion. They have come from behind for an exciting win. If they can keep this up, they will deserve their wild card spot.
Looking forward: The Colts take on the bruised and battered Texans next week. This is their second match up of the season and Sage Rosenfels may hand the game away once again. The Texans are weird, though. They may embarrass themselves against a team like the Ravens but the fight their divisional games hard. However, the Colts have their groove back so I can really see them steamrolling over the Texans, despite Houston’s best efforts.
Looking back: The Jaguars have finally won a game they were supposed to win and they did it in a convincing fashion. This is the first game all season that wasn’t decided within seven points. The only downside? It was the Lions. Every stat has to be taken with a grain of salt. However, the Jaguars were so far ahead the Cleo Lemon made a few very unconvincing drives down the field. It probably felt good being David Garrard on the sideline knowing you would be hit anymore that day.
Looking forward: The Jaguars may feel energized after their dominance of the Lions. Unfortunately for them, they are taking on the undefeated Tennessee Titans at home this week. The last time these two teams played, the Titans put the Jaguars’ offensive line on the PUP list. Will David Garrard be protected? Can the run game get established? Can they stop the run? Can they stop Kerry Collins from tearing them a new one in the secondary? All these questions must be answered this week for them to even come close to winning.
Looking back: The Titans/Bears game promised to give each team a little bit of challenge because they just seemed to match up oddly together. Look at the running stats for the Titans. They had 20 yards on 29 carries. The Bears made Kerry Collins prove himself and that is exactly what he did. He threw for almost 300 yards with no turnovers. Where are the Titans’ weak points? Well, maybe we will see before the season is over.
Looking forward: The Titans take on a lackluster Jaguars team in Jacksonville. All the Titans have to do is keep doing what has been working for them. The game was very close last time these two teams played but that was with Vince Young starting. I honestly have no idea what to expect from this game. Obviously, the NFL thought it would be interesting enough to change the time from 1:00 to 4:15. If you have the opportunity to watch it, I suggest you do. This will be a game for fans of the teams and fans of the game alike.