AFC South: 2012 Week 12 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Colts 20, Bills 13

November, 25, 2012
Thoughts on the Colts’ 20-13 win over the Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium:

What it means: The Colts bounced back from the bad loss at New England to beat a lesser conference foe. At 7-4, Indianapolis maintains solid wild-card footing. Without factoring in any tiebreakers, the Colts have a one-game lead on both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the fifth spot in the AFC’s field of six.

What I liked: Chuck Pagano, who’s fighting leukemia, looked pretty good as he acknowledged the crowd from owner Jim Irsay’s box. T.Y. Hilton’s first-quarter, 75-yard, punt-return touchdown gave the Colts a lead they would never relinquish. He also scored the Colts' other touchdown on an 8-yard reception. Reggie Wayne continued to produce at an excellent rate with eight catches for 102 yards.

What I didn’t like: Outside of Hilton’s punt return, the Colts got nothing in very big chunks. Andrew Luck found Wayne for 25-yard completions twice. But Buffalo got a 63-yard pass completion from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Stevie Johnson and a 41-yard run from C.J. Spiller. Johnson also undid an interception by Tom Zbikowski, who stiff-armed Johnson during his return and still got stripped by the receiver, who recovered.

Solid scoring defense: The Bills' first eight possessions produced just one drive of more than six plays, resulting in six punts and two field goals.

Too many takedowns: Luck was sacked four times, three by Mario Williams.

What’s next: The Colts travel to Detroit for a matchup with the Lions. Indianapolis is 2-1 against the NFC North so far.

Wrap-up: Jaguars 24, Titans 19

November, 25, 2012
Thoughts on the Jaguars’ 24-19 win over the Titans at EverBank Field:

What it means: The Jaguars won for the first time since Sept. 23 at Indianapolis, with Chad Henne leading three touchdown drives while Jacksonville’s defense kept the Titans out of the end zone until there was only 4:52 left in the game. Tennessee came off its bye hoping to go on a run and fight for a playoff spot. Now, at 4-7, it’ll take a five-game winning streak just to finish over .500.

What I liked, Jaguars: They let the Titans pull within two points with just inside five minutes left. Then they went three-and-out. But they didn’t fall apart. After punting it back to Tennessee, they got the play of the game from Russell Allen and Dwight Lowery. Allen leaped to tip a Jake Locker pass intended for Jared Cook and Lowery went down to pick it off. The offense milked the clock to 29 seconds before Josh Scobee boosted the lead to 24-19 with a 41-yard field goal.

What I didn’t like, Titans: On a day when the defense could be rated as OK, the offense didn’t do as much as it needed to. Tennessee was overly reliant on Rob Bironas’ leg, and he hit four of five field goals, missing a 42-yarder wide left that could have made things a lot different. One touchdown against the 31st-ranked defense in the NFL is not winning football.

More involved: The Jaguars did good work getting tight end Marcedes Lewis more involved in the passing game with mixed results. On the Jaguars’ early touchdown drive, he pulled in a well-timed throw into a seam. But later he juggled and dropped a pass with Jordan Babineaux in coverage. Lewis finished with four catches for 56 yards. Meanwhile, receiver Cecil Shorts continued his breakthrough with another 100-yard game as he took four catches 105 yards, including a 59-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown where Babineaux took a bad angle.

Steady pressure: The Titans sacked Henne seven times, with nice extra pressure coming from linebackers Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown and safety Michael Griffin. Griffin’s fourth-quarter sack pushed the Jaguars out of field goal range. Little-used defensive tackle Karl Klug, who had seven sacks as a rookie last season, got his first sack to force a punt that got the Titans the ball back late.

Ouch: A year ago, the Titans lost to the 0-13 Colts. Now they lost to the 1-9 Jaguars.

What’s next: Jacksonville travels to Buffalo for a meeting with the Bills. The Titans host division-leading Houston at LP Field. The Texans won the first meeting 38-14 in Nashville on Sept. 30.