AFC South: Titans win, Texans Fall from Undefeated Ranks
The AFC South saw notable changes between week 5 and week 6. One of the biggest of those changes was the Houston Texans fell from the short list of undefeated teams when the Green Bay Packers humbled them on Sunday night football. The division at this time has the Texans at 5-1 with a two game and a half game lead over the Indianapolis Colts who are 2-3, three games in front of the Tennessee Titans at 2-4 and three and a half games over the Jacksonville Jaguars who are 1-4.
Around the division, the Texans were brought back to earth in week 6 thanks to the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay went on a scoring barrage with Aaron Rogers showing why he is still considered the best in the game. Rogers threw for six touchdowns in the game and the Packers won 42-24. Green Bay scored more points against the Texans defense than any other NFL team since September of 2006 when Indianapolis and Peyton Manning scored 43.
Houston suffered greatly by the loss of linebacker Brian Cushing. Cushing was one of the leaders on the physical defense of the Texans and his absence due to a season ending knee injury was obvious. The Texans must assess his loss and find a capable replacement soon if they intend to continue being the top dog in the division and the AFC.
On Sunday, the Andre Johnson appeared again in the offense for Houston. In the first game of the season he had eight catches and then three or less in his next four games before grabbing eight again Sunday night. The Texans have become a team that runs first and throws second so do not expect high individual numbers for any receiver on the team.
The Colts have had injuries that have proved to be devastating for the team. Last Sunday the Jets took on the Colts and defeated Indy 35-9, but several players on the defense for Indy did not play. Both Robert Mathis and Pat Angerer, two key linebackers on the team did not play, as well as Fili Moala, their defensive tackle.
The lack of those three players noticeably affected the play of the defense, as the Jets ran for over 250 yards on the day. Shonn Greene had 161 rushing and three TDs for the Jets. Offensively the Colts offense looked equally unimpressive. Quarterback Andrew Luck tossed two interceptions and the running game could only generate 41 yards in the game.
Tennessee was about to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend behind the solid play of veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The Titans won 23-20 and Hasselbeck had 290 yards in the air and one touchdown pass. The Steelers did not have starting safety Troy Polamalu, which hurt their coverage and opened the field up for the offense of the Titans. Chris Johnson had 91 yards on the ground for the Titans.
Off the field, Chuck Pagano the Colts head coach who is out ill did not have any significant changes to his status. However, his team has coined the phrase Chuckstrong and will use that as inspiration for them and to support their head coach as he fights against leukemia. Colts owner Jim Irsay said no medical changes had taken place, but Pagano was expected to be a bit better this week.
Regardless if someone is an NFL fan, Indianapolis Colts’ fan or no fan of football, they should be rooting for the full recovery of Pagano.