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AFC South: Week 11 Preview and Point Spreads

Last weekend, the Texans did what everyone expected them to do and asserted themselves as the team to beat in the AFC. It was by no means a resounding victory over the Bears, but the Texans did exactly as much as they needed to for the win. The Colts, meanwhile, continued their rather surprising winning ways, though against a team that anyone could beat: the Jaguars. The Colts are one of the best stories in the NFL, this season, and deservedly so, though their opponent this week is decidedly better than the lowly Jags. Let’s take a look at the AFC South action in Week 11.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+16) at Houston Texans, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST

There’s no doubt that the Jacksonville Jaguars are an embarrassment of a team, but are they this bad? This kind of line only comes around once a year, twice maybe. For the Jaguars, it is entirely deserved: they were beaten by the Colts 27-10 last Thursday night, and have shown exactly no signs of talent or even competence. They are absolutely the bottom of the league’s barrel this year, and that’s why they’re being so hardily disrespected. Still though… 16 is a lot of points.

Though I like the Texans. How could you not? The Colts beat the Jaguars by 17 points last week, and (all due respect to the Colts) they are not the Texans. But if I actually had skin in the game, I would definitely stay away from this one; any line above 10 starts to seem a bit extravagant to me, but I’m a conservative guy with my money. However, anything over 15 is the height of lunacy. It’s the NFL, and crazy stuff happens each and every week. In a league where the haves and the have nots are only separated by a razor thin margin, upsets happen virtually constantly. Still, the Texans are a well-oiled machine. They don’t turn it over, they pound the ball on the ground and they play great defense. All of that is virtually the opposite of what the Jags do. God help me, but take the Texans at (gulp) -16. You know the craziest part? I wouldn’t be surprised if that line gets bet up this week. Jacksonville, keep your chin up and take this one like a man. It could get ugly.

Indianapolis Colts (+9) at New England Patriots, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

This is actually one of the more compelling games of the upcoming weekend. Who could’ve seen that one coming at the beginning of the season? Andrew Luck is having a great year, and the Colts are having an even better one; the team is improbably 6-3, the same record as the Denver Broncos, a team many are taking as a fashionably offbeat playoff pick. Why not the Colts? They do everything well, if not exceptionally, and don’t throw games away like a lot of young teams do. This weekend will be a great test of their mettle as they head into the lion’s den of New England against a Patriots team that has played offense like they’re pissed off and have something to prove, ala ’07 Pats, for the past several games.

I actually quite like the Colts here. As intimidating as New England’s offense is, its defense is swiss cheese, and Andrew Luck should easily be able to find success against this porous Pats’ secondary. I like the Colts to keep it close, and Reggie Wayne to break off a couple big plays. The Patriots are far more vulnerable than their recent blowout wins suggest; take the Colts and the points.

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