AFC South: 2011 Week 9 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Falcons 31, Colts 7

November, 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Colts’ 31-7 loss to the Falcons at Lucas Oil Stadium:

What it means: The Colts are 0-9 and showed no reason for optimism. With Miami winning in Kansas City, Indianapolis is the only winless team in the league and thus the favorite for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

What I didn’t like: The Colts didn’t have a play longer than a 16-yard Curtis Painter-to-Austin Collie pass play. The Falcons, meanwhile, got two gigantic touchdown receptions from rookie Julio Jones, the first for 50 yards and the second for 80. His receiving yards on those two plays were more than the Colts’ total of 118.

Injury of concern: Tight end Dallas Clark left the game in the second quarter with a lower leg injury and did not return. His productivity as a pass-catcher is way down with Painter in at quarterback for Peyton Manning, but the Colts are hardly a better team without him in the mix.

The same, but different: Both teams averaged 4.0 yards a carry in the run game. But Atlanta ran it 41 times and the Colts just 21.

Other ugly numbers: Average gain per pass play was 10.8 for Atlanta and 2.9 for Indianapolis. Time of possession was 37:46 to 22:14 in the Falcons’ favor. At least the Colts’ offense shouldn’t be especially tired this week.

What’s next: The Colts host the Jaguars in a game many consider Indianapolis' best chance to win a game. Jacksonville will be coming off a bye.

Wrap-up: Texans 30, Browns 12

November, 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Texans’ 30-12 win over the Browns at Reliant Stadium:

What it means: The Texans have a three-game winning streak and have built a 6-3 record. It’s the first time they are three games over .500 in franchise history. They did exactly what a good team needs to do at home against a poor team, leaving little doubt from early on that they would handle business.

What I liked: The run game was absolutely dominant, with a franchise-record 261 rushing yards. Arian Foster and Ben Tate both topped 100 yards and scored a touchdown. Meanwhile, Wade Phillips’ defense held the Browns to 172 yards, 10 first downs and fewer than 25 minutes in time of possession.

Other things I liked: Matt Schaub running for a touchdown for the second week in a row. The Texans are smart to use him that way near the goal line. Cornerback Kareem Jackson looked to do a nice job running with Cleveland receivers and made a couple plays. Of the four sacks, two came from rookie outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who’s playing because Mario Williams is out for the season.

Number of note: Of Schaub's 14 completions for 119 passing yards, five went to Foster and three to tight end Owen Daniels. They combined for twice as many catches as wide receivers (three).

What’s next: Houston travels to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers before the Texans reach their bye. We’ll hear a lot of debate this week about Andre Johnson and whether it’s even worth considering playing the wide receiver. He’s coming off a hamstring injury, and with the bye week looming, one more game off would allow for a lot of extra recovery time.