- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Reading the coverage ...
The Texans return from their bye with only the Bills on their mind, as Houston gets ready to face its former first-round pick, defensive end Mario Williams, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Ben Tate’s hamstring injury from the Baltimore game is one concern going forward.
Texans midseason awards from McClain.
Kareem Jackson is coming into his own in his third season as a Texans cornerback, says Nick Scurfield of the team’s website.
To which I say: Jackson really has made great strides. He’s done well not letting the criticism get in the way of him doing the work to catch up to a lot of the rest of the defensive personnel.
The Texans are doing just fine without Williams, says Battle Red Blog.
The Colts' future may not be so far away, says Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. “They are growing up, something most of us figured would happen further on down the line this season, or maybe next season."
The Titans played prettier football, but the Colts were gritty and won, says Phil Richards of the Star.
Indianapolis was running in overtime, and the Titans knew it and couldn’t stop it, says Phillip B. Wilson of the Star.
Upset that the Colts weren’t winning at the half, Reggie Wayne riled up the Colts with a halftime speech, says Mike Chappell of the Star. “Sometimes you have to do more than lead by example,'' Wayne said.
To which I say: Wayne’s ability to snatch Andrew Luck’s passes had me thinking he is playing as well as he ever has. Titans nickelback Ryan Mouton was right with him several times, and Wayne caught seven passes for 91 yards with what I will call a “casual flair.”
Running through fake-toss-39-taxi-naked-right-screen-left with Wilson.
Kravitz’s report card.
Luck is as calm as a rookie can be, but the biggest clutch plays by the Colts came from the running backs, says Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
Vick Ballard’s spin to win rewarded Bruce Arians’ aggressiveness, says Conrad Brunner of 1070 The Fan.
The Jaguars executed a game plan and looked better, but still made enough mistakes to lose, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. “(Mike) Mularkey said before the game that the Jaguars were two plays from 3-3 and one from 0-6. Now they’re four plays from 4-3 and one from 0-7.”
Blaine Gabbert took a big step forward in the eyes of Gene Frenette of the T-U. “On a day when the short-handed Jaguars put up a credible showing as a 15-point underdog, Gabbert having his first 300-yard passing output in a 24-15 defeat was the primary consolation prize.”
The Jaguars were too slow getting set up before the blocked punt, and Mularkey said that was his fault, writes Stellino.
Gabbert’s day may eventually be seen as a big step, says John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
The Packers blocked the punt even though they only had 10 men on the field, says Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Playing without three of their top four defensive backs, the Jaguars still did a pretty solid job against a dynamic passing offense, says Ryan O’Halloran of the T-U.
To which I say: A more effective four-man rush was a major key to the effective pass coverage, and it’s what the Jaguars have been in need of all season.
The passing game showed progress despite the injury to Gabbert, says O’Halloran.
A questionable late call killed a chance to win it, and the Titans ultimately unraveled, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.
When they lost the overtime coin toss, they lost the game, says David Climer of The Tennessean. “When you play defense like the Titans, you’re living on borrowed time. For a while, you can survive by bending but not breaking. Eventually, though, you break.”
To which I say: I actually felt like I saw progress as it felt like the Colts had to work really hard on the 80-yard drive that tied it late and the 80-yard drive that won it.
A lot looked good statistically, but mistakes ended some scoring chances and cost the Titans big, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.
Wyatt’s report card.
Luck flashed “a capacity to hang in against the rush, make plays with his legs and come up with the right throw at a crucial moment,” says Josh Cooper of The Tennessean.
Mike Munchak had tough decisions in this one, and sticks by them, says David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper.
The Titans should have won despite the questionable calls, says Andrew Strickert of Total Titans.