Final Word: AFC South

October, 15, 2010
10/15/10
4:00
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 6:

Return rewards: The Jaguars spent a sixth-round pick on Southern Illinois running back Deji Karim. The Titans spent a seventh-round pick on Montana receiver Marc Mariani. A week ago they were both big factors as kick returners in wins. A "Monday Night Football" matchup between the AFC South rivals could well produce a close game in which a big return at the right time flips field position and makes a big difference. Either of these guys can produce it.

[+] EnlargeDeji Karim
Kevin Hoffman/US PresswireDeji Karim had four returns for 145 yards last week, including a 51-yarder.
Mr. Manning goes to Washington: The Redskins are one of three teams Peyton Manning has not beaten on the road, along with Dallas and Green Bay. To lead the Colts to a victory over the Redskins, he probably will need to continue to show major patience. Brian Orakpo is the Redskins’ primary pass-rush threat, but they’ve not been a great pass pressure team otherwise. Leaning heavily on numbers and discipline in coverage helped the Chiefs slow the Colts. Washington might try more of the same.

Around the edge: Think of the backs we’ll see on "Monday Night Football" and you’d figure Chris Johnson as the outside guy and Maurice Jones-Drew as the inside runner. But both can do both. Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz says to beware of MJD on the outside in this one, because the Titans are getting gashed by outside runs this year. They've given up 7.3 yards per carry on runs around left end, and 75 yards on only six carries around right end (12.5 yards per carry). The Titans ask their corners to do a lot to funnel that stuff back inside.

Improved protection: Rashad Butler got pushed around some by Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora in a deflating loss last week. Houston’s backup left tackle, playing for the suspended Duane Brown, needs to do better and may need more help against Kansas City’s emerging pass-rush force, Tamba Hali. The outside linebacker created some problems a week ago against the Colts in Indianapolis. Butler will need to be decisive and aggressive to keep Hali away from Matt Schaub.

Young vs. Jacksonville: North Florida has never understood any Vince Young hype. That’s because, despite the fact the Titans are 4-2 in games Young has started against the Jaguars, he has posted some bad numbers. He has completed 57 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, eight interceptions, a 58.7 passer rating and 10 sacks. David Garrard has been better but hardly great against Tennessee with 11 touchdowns against 11 picks and a 73.8 passer rating.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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