Final Word: AFC South

September, 17, 2010
9/17/10
3:35
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 2:

[+] EnlargeSean Considine
AP Photo/Stephen MortonSean Considine will have to defend against a San Diego team looking for redemption.
Picking it up: Lost in the Colts' pass protection struggles last week was the play of Joseph Addai, who showed what a versatile force and well-rounded player he is. He ran well on his rare chances and I thought he was great in pass protection. Still, I’d like to see the Colts sacrifice three-wide once in a while in order to get Brody Eldridge into the game to help in this area too. Charlie Johnson is already dealing with a bad foot, Jeff Saturday recently had knee surgery and Ryan Diem (neck) is on the injury report too. Will Indy do anything different from what it did when Houston constantly hurried and hit Peyton Manning?

Friendships and familiarity: I think too much gets made of mentor-versus-mentee games such as Mike Shanahan against Gary Kubiak. When it’s over and they shake hands, one will say congratulations and the other will graciously accept. What’s a lot more interesting to me is how Matt Schaub reads and works against Jim Haslett’s creative 3-4 and how well Arian Foster can follow up his big opening game. He’s not the only one who needs to follow up his Week 1 effort. Let’s also see that pass rush force Donovan McNabb operate faster than he would like.

Patience is the key: Chris Johnson and Vince Young often talk of playing patiently and awaiting the right play or situation to come. The Titans' offense will benefit from that approach against the Steelers. The openings against the defense may not show themselves frequently, but Tennessee has to jump into them when it has the chance. The Titans can’t afford to make mistakes while waiting for opportunities, especially with Troy Polamalu lurking, eager to hit Johnson and get his hands on Young's throws.

Safety conscious: The Chargers will be determined to get on track after an opening-week loss to Kansas City. I expect they’ll have plenty of stuff drawn up for Philip Rivers that allows him to test the Jacksonville safeties: Sean Considine and either Anthony Smith, who’s hurt, or Courtney Greene. It’s a soft spot in the Jaguars' defense, and the best way to cover for it is by rushing the quarterback, the way Jacksonville did last week.

Open the screen door: Aaron Schatz tells us that the Texans averaged a league-leading 9.0 yards on screen passes last year, and the Redskins gave up 8.5 yards per screen pass, the third most in the league. Washington had better hope its switch to a 3-4 scheme has fixed that problem. If the Texans really want to test that out, Steve Slaton could have a bigger role in this game. They love him as a pass-catcher, especially on third downs.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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AFC SOUTH SCOREBOARD