Final Word: AFC South

October, 8, 2010
10/08/10
4:00
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 5:

Ninety minutes early: Sunday at 11:30 a.m., we’ll find out just who’s OK to play and who’s not among the Colts. Crucial guys who could miss action include Austin Collie, Antoine Bethea and Jacob Lacey. Bethea, who has a bad hamstring, almost has to play because the Colts will be digging deep to announce a starter at the other safety spot, where Brandon King or DaJuan Morgan look to be the primary possibilities. Whoever lines up at strong safety, look for the Chiefs to try to target him in any way possible.

Watch the tight ends: Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders says the Giants have the league's best defense against tight ends so far this year while the Texans have the league's worst defense against tight ends. Houston’s not looked to Owen Daniels much, though Joel Dreessen’s been effective, averaging 17 yards a catch. Brian Cushing’s return should help the Texans’ defensive deficiency against Kevin Boss, who has 110 yards on just five catches.

[+] EnlargeMaurice Jones-Drew
Kim Klement/US PresswireFacing Buffalo's struggling run defense may be just what Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars need.
Packed in Bills: The Jaguars seem to have accepted that they need to keep the passing game focused on short stuff to give David Garrard his best chance to succeed. But by doing so, they might not take defenders deep too often. And by not taking them deep, the run game becomes more difficult for Maurice Jones-Drew and blockers who have to deal with more people. Buffalo’s dead last in run defense, so it may not be much of a factor at Ralph Wilson Stadium

Get creative: Outside of some option plays, it doesn't seem like the Titans have been very creative with Vince Young this season. Even if he lost the coaches' faith for his poor preparation during Pittsburgh week, it’s time to see if they can’t find some things to get and keep him in a rhythm. If Young gets off to a hot start, the Cowboys might feel he warrants more attention. If that happens, Chris Johnson might break something big.

Not so unfamiliar: Teams who haven’t faced Peyton Manning often overestimate what they will be able to do against him. But Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has a defensive coordinator in Romeo Crennel who has gone against the four-time MVP before and I’d expect him to have a reasonable approach. On the other side, the Chiefs have a pair of backs in Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles who might be able to pound away at a defense that’s had trouble slowing Arian Foster and Jones-Drew.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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