AFC South: 2012 Week 11 coverage
November, 18, 2012
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Thoughts on the Patriots’ 59-24 win over the Colts at Gillette Stadium:
What it means: The Colts fell to 6-4 overall, while Houston improved to 9-1 with its overtime win over Jacksonville. There are still two head-to-head Houston-Indianapolis meetings, but it’s hard to envision the Colts winning the AFC South. A wild-card berth is still a real possibility.
What I didn’t like: Defensively the Colts just weren’t able to contain the Patriots' weapons. Tom Brady finished 24-of-35 for 331 yards and three touchdowns and yielded to Ryan Mallett at the end. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was unstoppable with seven catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Andrew Luck threw three interceptions, the first of which new Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib returned 59 yards for a touchdown.
What I did like: Luck threw for more than 300 yards for the fifth time this season, a record for a rookie. He continued to show a great knack for converting third downs. Reggie Wayne went over 1,000 yards receiving for the eighth time.
Injury concerns: Wide receiver Donnie Avery suffered a concussion late in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game. Defensive lineman Cory Redding left the game in the fourth quarter with a hip injury and also didn’t return.
Special-teams issues: The Colts gave up two punt returns for 106 yards to Julian Edelman, who took one for a 68-yard touchdown. Indy’s Jerry Hughes had and missed two chances to tackle him on the play.
What’s next: The Colts host the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
November, 18, 2012
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
Thoughts on the Texans’ 43-37 win over the Jaguars at Reliant Stadium:
What it means: The Texans posted a remarkable rally from a late two-touchdown deficit and pulled to 9-1 with an improbable overtime victory. It took everything they had to beat the 1-9 Jaguars, who played what ranked as their best game of the season, setting the tone early and fighting like crazy but ultimately coming up short against a team with an awful lot of firepower.
Back in form: Questions about the age and leg condition of Andre Johnson should be about gone by now. He’s been playing better and better and finished this one with 14 catches for a career-high 273 yards. His 35-yard catch on the last possession was crucial for setting up Shayne Graham’s field goal attempt at the end of regulation, but Graham missed it badly. So Johnson took a bubble screen 48 yards for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
What I liked, Texans: Matt Schaub hit on 43 of 55 passes for 527 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a stretch of 17 consecutive completions end on the second play from scrimmage in overtime. The yardage was the second most in NFL history.
What I liked, Jaguars: Chad Henne stepped in for Blaine Gabbert early after the starting quarterback hurt his throwing elbow when his arm was hit by Danieal Manning on a blitz that forced a fumble. Henne was an excellent reliever, finishing 16-of-33 for 354 yards and four touchdowns. No other quarterback since Sage Rosenfels for Houston in 2007 has come off the bench to throw four touchdowns.
What I didn’t like, Texans: There were all sorts of problems defensively. But as the Jaguars connected on a bunch of big pass plays, Houston’s safeties had plays made on them, had receivers bounce off them and generally had a bad day. Manning had a big game last week in Chicago against his old team and Glover Quin has also been steady this season. But whether they just had a bad day or Jacksonville had a sense they were guys who could be attacked, they hurt Houston today.
Overtime: The Texans marched to a field goal on the opening possession of OT. The Jaguars converted a fourth-and-10 with a 15-yard Henne-to-Justin Blackmon pass and managed to get a field goal of their own to extend the game and set up a next-score-wins scenario. That next score was Johnson.
Breakout games: Blackmon was fantastic with seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown. The rookie receiver showed the combination of physical presence and speed that prompted the Jaguars to trade up for him back in April. On the other side, Keshawn Martin was very productive in the return game, an area where Houston has struggled this season. He had a 71-yard kickoff return and a 54-yard punt return. He also had a 9-yard touchdown catch.
Silly stat: It was just the second game in NFL history with two 200-yard receivers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only other game in NFL history in which multiple receivers had 200 or more yards was Sept. 23, 2007, when Detroit's Roy Williams (204) and Philadelphia's Kevin Curtis (221) pulled it off in an Eagles win over the Lions.
Defensive standouts: Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny got that blood running from the bridge of his nose dripping down his face from delivering some big hits, and defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was frequently disruptive.
Mixed results: In his first game after roughly a year missed with injuries, Texans inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton had mixed results. He broke through the line for a great tackle for a loss on running back Rashad Jennings but also bit on a run fake and left Marcedes Lewis open for a touchdown pass from Henne.
What’s next: The Texans have a quick turnaround, heading to Detroit for a game on Thanksgiving Day. The Jaguars host Tennessee at EverBank Field.
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