AFC South: 2011 Week 10 coverage

Wrap-up: Titans 30, Panthers 3

November, 13, 2011
Thoughts on the Tennessee Titans’ 30-3 win against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium:

What it means: The Titans got back over .500, improving to 5-4 with a trouncing of the Panthers. Tennessee looked a lot more like the team that raised expectations in big performances against the Ravens and Browns this season. The Titans will have a chance to pull within a game and a tiebreaker of the Texans in the AFC South next week.

What I liked, offense: Chris Johnson had his biggest effort of the season, with 27 carries for 130 rushing yards and a touchdown to go with four catches for 44 yards. Matt Hasselbeck found connections with Damian Williams, who looked like a dependable, dangerous threat in the passing game with five catches for 107 yards including a 43-yard touchdown.

What I liked, defense: A team that’s struggled to get consistent pressure on the quarterback found five sacks of Cam Newton to go with a Chris Hope interception. The Titans didn’t allow a pass play longer than 19 yards.

What I didn’t like: The Titans were just 3-for-13 on third down, a rate that won’t cut it against a higher-caliber team going forward. Nine penalties for 92 yards are too many for too much.

What’s next: The Titans head for Atlanta for a second consecutive game against an NFC South foe. If they can improve to 6-4, they’ll be only a game and a head-to-head loss off the pace of idle Houston in the division.

Wrap-up: Jaguars 17, Colts 3

November, 13, 2011

Thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium:

What it means: The Colts remain winless, dropping to 0-10 after failing to find the end zone against the Jaguars. Jacksonville, meanwhile, climbed to 3-6 with the win, showing the gap between third and fourth place in the AFC South.

What I liked, Jaguars: The defense continued to show it can be the core of this team, with five sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Jeremy Mincey accounted for 2.5 of the sacks. On offense, Maurice Jones-Drew made sure he helped control the game with 114 rushing yards and a score on 25 carries. Jacksonville won time of possession 35:21 to 24:39.

What I didn’t like, Colts: We’ve heard about how Curtis Painter is getting better in practice, but his play got him pulled in favor of Dan Orlovsky in the fourth quarter for the second week in a row. Three sacks, two picks and a fumbled snap he managed to recover didn’t amount to pieces of an effort that was close to good enough to win with.

Good enough: There aren’t too many games rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert will win with his stat line. But against the Colts, 14-of-21 for 118 yards with a touchdown pass, an interception and two sacks was enough.

Emerging, again: Tight end Jacob Tamme shined in 2010 after Dallas Clark was hurt. With Clark and Brody Eldridge out with injuries, Tamme was central for the Colts again and pulled in a game-high six catches for 75 yards, including the game’s long play of 29 yards.

Red zone revealing: The Jaguars were two-for-three in the red zone, finding the two touchdowns that were the difference. The Colts failed to find the end zone in two trips inside the 10.

What’s next: The Jaguars travel to Cleveland with a chance to put together a two-game winning streak. The Colts have a week off before hosting Carolina.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Thoughts on the Texans' 37-9 win against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium:

What it means: The Texans jumped to a 7-3 mark as they arrive at their bye, looking more and more like a team that should be ranked with the favorites in the AFC. They maintained a two-win lead over the Titans in the AFC South (plus a head-to-head win). Houston has outscored opponents 132-42 during a four-game win streak.

What I liked: It was a complete effort by the Texans, who threw it well, ran it well, rushed well and covered well. The Bucs have been good on some Sundays, but the Texans made their hosts look well below average in every facet. Arian Foster had 186 totals yards with a rushing and a receiving touchdown.

High heat: The Bucs have offered quarterback Josh Freeman some solid pass protection this season, allowing only 11 sacks. The Texans effectively brought waves after Freeman, who couldn’t get in any sort of rhythm, at least in part because of the effective pass rush that produced four sacks. Josh Johnson replaced Freeman with 5:38 remaining in the game and the Texans promptly pried a fumble away from the Bucs and recovered it.

Backup time: Quarterback Matt Leinart got into the game late for Houston, relieving Matt Schaub. No. 3 running back Derrick Ward was getting carries well before that.

What’s next: The Texans get their week off before a Nov. 27 game at Jacksonville. They beat Jacksonville 24-14 in Houston on Oct. 30. The Texans should have receiver Andre Johnson (hamstring) back for that one.