AFC South: Texans Keep Perfect Record, Colts Win One for Pagano
And then there were two…On Monday, the Houston Texans defeated the New York Jets 23-17 to keep their perfect record. They now join the Atlanta Falcons at 5-0.
As for another AFC South team, their recent win was also very meaningful. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-27 on Sunday. The victory came just days after the team learned its new head coach Chuck Pagano had been diagnosed with leukemia.
In a season full of numerous changes, the Colts persevered and won one for the Pagano.
Texans (5-0) defeat Jets (2-3) 23-17
In a game that the two teams both desperately wanted to win, the Texans were the victors.
A special thanks needs to go out to running back Arian Foster. He had 29 carries for 152 yards and one touchdown.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was 14 for 28, 209 yards, one touchdown and one pick. With the win, it represented Schaub’s ninth consecutive one–the longest active streak in the league going back to the 2011 season–and the team’s best start in franchise history.
Adding to the win was Texans defensive end J.J. Watt’s play. Again, he was a beast, batting two passes (now with a league-leading five) and one sack.
As for the Jets, they entered the game as big underdogs but they made it more of a game than expected.
Entering halftime, the Texans led 17-7 but the Jets came back in the third quarter to make it a 20-14 game. They had some opportunities to make it more of a second-half game but couldn’t get it done.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez continued to struggle, going 14 for 31, 230 yards, one touchdown, two picks and three sacks.
There was a brief appearance by backup quarterback Tim Tebow but again he was ineffective.
Looking ahead to the Texans upcoming schedule, they will play an angry Green Bay team on Sunday night at home.
Is this the game that will cause its fall? The bettors don’t think so: The Texans are -5 with a 47 over/under.
Colts (2-2) defeat Green Bay (2-3) 30-27
Entering the game with sad news regarding their coach and another new one temporarily at the helm, the Colts started Sunday’s game as underdogs and really, playing with nothing to lose except a desire to take the game ball to their hospitalized coach.
The game highlighted the growing chemistry between Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and his veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
The two connected on a clutch 4-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining in the game. With Green Bay leading 27-22, Wayne caught the touchdown pass and running back Donald Brown successfully got the two-point conversion for the win.
The Colts entered the second half down 21-10 but owned the third quarter, scoring nine points. Toward the middle of the fourth quarter, the team took a one-point lead but the Packers came back with a touchdown.
But the Colts said not so fast and fought back for the win.
For the day, Luck was 31 for 55, 362 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. He also had one rushing touchdown.
After his performance, some pundits called him the next Aaron Rodgers.
As for the real Rodgers, his game was less stellar. He was 21 for 33, 243 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and five sacks.
You have to ask, are the Colts on the rise or is it Green Bay not that good?
Here’s one take.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, “I thought they (Colts) played well. Obviously, a tough week for them. I thought they played with a lot of emotion, a lot of energy. Frankly, I’m more focused on my football team and my football team is not playing the way we are capable of playing.”
This Sunday, the Colts will play the injury-plagued Jets. They need to take it one win at a time and to take the division, they have 15 to 1 odds.