AFC South: Week 15 Preview and Predictions
The Texans remain on top, but those pesky Indianapolis Colts just aren’t going away. With another tense fourth-quarter win this week over the Titans, the Colts are 9-4 and in a prime position to take a playoff spot. Let’s take a look at the Week 15 lines for the AFC South and make some predictions.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) at Miami Dolphins, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST
The Dolphins got semi-pasted by the 49ers on Sunday, but there’s no embarrassment there – plenty of teams can’t keep up with them. The Jags, however, lost 17-10 to the Jets. Now that’s slightly less forgivable.
“In the fourth quarter, we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board. We didn’t. We were too generous,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said after his team’s loss. “It’s just a lack of playmaking at critical times. That’s it.”
The Fins should have no such trouble making plays this week against the Jaguars. Look for them to win by at least two touchdowns here. Miami is a severely undervalued team, and are a much better team than their win-loss columns will reflect at the end of the season. Take the Dolphins and the points.
Indianapolis Colts (+10) at Houston Texans, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. EST
On Sunday, Andrew Luck and the Colts did it again, overcoming a 13-point deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 27-23. The story so far this year has been the stellar play of Andrew Luck, though the Colts can get it done in every facet of the game. Their defense, though not a lock-down unit by any measure, can get enough pressure with star pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to force turnovers. “Everybody on the team — offensively, defensively, special teams — just plays football. They’re not worried about the scoreboard too much, not worried about what’s going on,” Luck said. “They’re aware of the situations, and we just go out there and play football to the best of our abilities. It’s just not overthinking all the situations.”
Luck now has six fourth quarter comebacks this season, the most by a rookie since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. His favorite target, future Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne, passed Andre Reed for the tenth most receptions all time in the game against the Titans. The Colts are a great story, but can they handle the Texans?
At the time of this writing, the Texans have not yet played the New England Patriots on Monday night. However, it’s safe to say that the Texans don’t have a lot left to prove. They’ve rattled off a streak of impressive wins, two coming in OT the week of Thanksgiving. The Texans look like they’re ready to steamroll their way to the playoffs, but they have suffered several key injuries, including Johnathan Joseph, their best defensive back. I think that the Colts keep this one close. Take them at +10.
New York Jets (+1) at Tennessee Titans, Monday, 8:30 p.m. EST
If you have to see even a minute of this game, I’m sorry. The Jets are 6-7, though it feels like they’re 0-13 this year. You’re telling me the Jets beat six teams this year? Who? And are they still allowed to play in the NFL after suffering such a terrible embarrassment? The Titans are 4-9, and not playing much better. This one should honestly be a pick ‘em, but I’ll take the Jets here. The Titans are a collection of very good individual players, but they can’t seem to congeal and play as a whole unit. The Jets are the exact opposite: they seem to be much greater than the sum of their parts. It won’t be pretty (something along the lines of the Jets’ 17-10 win this past weekend is in the works) but I think Gang Green does just enough to get the job done.