Searching for AFC South game of the year

January, 13, 2011
1/13/11
11:49
AM ET
ESPN.com sent me to 18 games including the playoffs this season.

Ranking them from one to 18 calls for more nuance than I am capable of providing. But a one to five star rating system seems to fit.

Let me make my criteria here clear: It's personal preference. I like close games with tension that come down to the end and are jam-packed with storylines. I hate blowouts no matter how much you think one says about your team.

Let’s zip through the games I saw live, mention a few excellent ones I missed and consider doing some balloting for the division’s game of the season.

Sept. 12 -- Indianapolis at Houston

Arian Foster introduces himself to America in grand fashion. Texans fans begin making calls about Super Bowl tickets. -- Four stars

Sept 19 -- NY Giants at Indianapolis

Only one Manning brother is compelling on "Sunday Night Football," as Eli puts millions to bed. -- Two stars

Sept. 26 -- Dallas at Houston

The Texans plunge back to Earth in disappointing fashion as the Cowboys recover from an 0-2 start. -- Two stars

Oct. 3 -- Indianapolis at Jacksonville

The Jaguars keep pulling ahead, the Colts keep pulling even. Jim Caldwell’s controversial timeout gives Jacksonville a chance to get Josh Scobee inside 60 yards, and he hits a winning 59-yard field goal as time expired. -- Five stars

Oct. 10 -- Kansas City at Indianapolis

A pretty uninteresting 19-9 Colts win features a lot of field goals and some good defense by both teams. -- Two stars

Oct. 18 -- Tennessee at Jacksonville

Both starting quarterbacks are knocked out during the game so we see Kerry Collins vs. Trent Edwards in a 30-3 Titans yawner that is never in question. The worst game I attended. -- One star

Oct. 24 -- Philadelphia at Tennessee

Kenny Britt comes off bar fight accusations, sits early, then catches seven balls for 225 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-19 win over the Eagles. -- Three stars

Nov. 1 -- Houston at Indianapolis

Poor play-calling means the Texans don’t get enough touches for Foster and Andre Johnson as the Colts avenge the opening day loss. -- Two stars

Nov. 7 -- Indianapolis at Philadelphia

The Colts stall too often on offense, but still have a chance to win at the end. A Peyton Manning interception kills the chance for a winning field goal. -- Three stars

Nov. 14 -- Tennessee at Miami

Randy Moss’ debut with the Titans. He’s part of the only visiting team to lose at Sun Life Stadium all season. -- Two stars

Nov. 21 -- Indianapolis at New England

The Colts mount a late challenge, but fall short in Foxborough as they did in Philadelphia. A late pick by Manning means there is no opportunity for a tying field goal attempt at the end. -- Four stars

Nov. 28 -- Tennessee at Houston

The Titans are down to rookie Rusty Smith at quarterback, so the Texans are finally able to defend the pass. -- One star

Dec. 5 -- Jacksonville at Tennessee

The Jaguars hold the ball forever and run it 53 times, avenging the "Monday Night Football" loss and taking temporary control of the division. -- Two stars

Dec. 9 -- Indianapolis at Tennessee

The Titans make this Thursday night interesting in the second half, when Jeff Fisher makes some decisions we spent some time debating. -- Three stars

Dec. 13 -- Baltimore at Houston

It’s a dud for a long time. Then the Texans mount their typical late comeback in brilliant fashion. It’s all followed by the harshest ending of the year -- Matt Schaub’s interception that is returned for a touchdown in overtime. – Five stars

Dec. 19 -- Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Austin Collie is unstoppable before he leaves the game with a concussion. The Jaguars simply can’t keep up with the Colts in a game that largely decided the division. -- Three stars

Jan. 2 -- Tennessee at Indianapolis

The Colts need a last-second field goal to get their 10th win and beat the Titans who played quite well. But the Jaguars’ loss in Houston minutes earlier ensured Indy of the division crown. -- Four stars

Jan. 8 -- NY Jets at Indianapolis, wild-card game

A playoff game that features a field goal that looks like a game-winner, followed by another as time expires that is a game-winner. Top flight tension and another controversial timeout to boot. -- Five stars

Some I missed:

Oct. 17 -- Indianapolis at Washington.
Nov. 14 – Houston at Jacksonville.
Dec. 2 -- Houston at Philadelphia.

So what’s the division’s game of the year? If you give me comments to sort through, I’ll make a declaration, maybe with a few runners-up.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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