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AFC South Week 8 Preview

The Houston Texans will take their dominating two and a half game lead in the AFC South into their bye week here in NFL week eight, while Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee try to pick up some ground. The season is far from over, but these three teams have a lot of work to do if they want to contend with the Texans in the South. Here is a look at this week’s matchups in the AFC South and my picks for each game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)

Jennings will have to pick up the slack with Jones-Drew out

There’s no doubt that Jacksonville is in desperate need of a win this week if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. The bad news however, is that they will be without their best offensive player, as Maurice Jones-Drew is out with an injury and unfortunately that’s not the only bad news for the Jags. They will be up against a Packers team playing at the top of their game in recent weeks and Jacksonville will have to battle them on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, where Green Bay has won 15 of its last 16 games.

When you factor in that Jacksonville is ranked 24th or worse in passing yards, rushing yards and opponent’s rushing and passing yards, it’s understandable that the spread for this game would be pretty wide, in fact it’s at 16 points in favor of the Pack. But 16 points is still an enormous spread for an NFL game. The Jaguars will almost assuredly lose, but I think they will compete and cover that +16 point spread this week. They will be without Jones-Drew, but Rashad Jennings is a capable runner and if the Jaguars display at least a somewhat effective running game, they can reduce the damage that the Packers will inevitably do on their defense. Take the Jaguars to cover, but the Packers to win.

Indianapolis Colts (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (3-4)

This may look pretty bleak in the division for Jacksonville, but the Colts and Titans have a real chance to contend in the division and this is by far the most significant game of the season so far for each as they battle for second place outright and for a more advantageous position in the wild card race. The Titans are finally starting to get things rolling with two straight wins and the Colts are proving to be much better than many expected coming into the season.

Johnson exploded with a huge game last week, but can he do it against the Colts?

Tennessee is starting to find a groove offensively. Chris Johnson looked like a version of his old self last week, putting up nearly 200 yards against the Bills and Matt Hasselbeck has done a solid job filling in for the injured Jake Locker, however the defense has been down right atrocious, giving up 34 points per game.

Meanwhile the Colts had had an up-and-down year, but are obviously improved with Andrew Luck under center. The 3-3 Colts are ranked 11th in passing offense, an air attack that should find success against the 27th ranked pass defense in the NFL.

The Colts have the edge in some respects, but the Titans are at home where they are 2-1 this season and they seem to be getting hot. The Colts and Luck have struggled on the road and are yet to win a game away from Indy. That’s why I like Tennessee to cover -4 points this week and win their third consecutive game.




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