AFC South: Andrew Johnson

RTC: Texans can get mojo back

January, 5, 2013
1/05/13
10:51
AM ET
Reading the coverage…

Houston Texans

The Texans might have lost their mojo, but history shows you can get it back, writes Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle.

The Texans might win this game, but they aren’t going to the Super Bowl, says Randy Harvey of the Chronicle.

“This is Texans country, and my painstaking research shows the Texans don't lose home playoff games. Ever,” writes Jerome Solomon of the Chronicle. “They lost the last three games of the regular season a year ago then rolled Cincinnati 31-10 in the playoffs. So book this one. Texans will handle the Bengals on Saturday.”

Matt Schaub’s ready, finally, for his playoff debut, writes Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle. “I think Matt knows exactly what he needs to do right, and we’ve told him that and I’ll just leave it at that,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “He needs to sharpen his game, and everybody needs to.”

The Texans need pass-catchers other than Andre Johnson to show up and produce, says John McClain of the Chronicle.

Arian Foster is at his best when the Texans need him the most, says Ganguli.

Tim Dobbins is on injured reserve and Barrett Ruud will be a starter at inside linebacker against the Bengals, says Ganguli. The Texans activated linebacker Cameron Collins from the practice squad.

A guide to the game from McClain.

A “Know Your Enemy” scouting report on the Bengals from Lance Zierlein of the Chronicle blog.

Indianapolis Colts

Vick Ballard has steadily gotten better and earned the Colts’ trust, says Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star.

Baltimore might be over the Colts’ move to Indianapolis, but Phillip B. Wilson of the Star writes the city might never forgive the late Robert Irsay for orchestrating it.

The Eagles have joined the Bears as suitors for Bruce Arians as their next head coach, says Mike Chappell.

Former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett looked at film for the Star and offers his thoughts on what will unfold tomorrow in Baltimore.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike Mularkey told his assistant coaches they are free to look for other jobs, which doesn’t bode well for the future of the current staff in Jacksonville, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

“The last thing (Shad) Khan needs in hiring a GM, especially one pursued by other teams, is handcuffing him to a coach he might not want,” says Gene Frenette of the Times-Union.

Tennessee Titans

Kamerion Wimbley knows he didn’t meet expectations and intends to work diligently to be more productive next season, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

It was a disappointing second season for defensive tackle Karl Klug, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Best of NFL: AFC South teams

June, 30, 2011
6/30/11
1:00
PM ET
Best of NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

As part of Best of the NFL Week on ESPN.com, here are five bests for the AFC South:

[+] EnlargeFaith Hill and Tim McGraw
Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesFaith Hill and Tim McGraw are two of the Titans' more famous fans.
Best celebrity fans -- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill bring a good deal of star power to LP Field and are the headliners of a large country music contingent that counts the Tennessee Titans as its hometown team. (There is a pretty good stream of musicians who pass through to take on the national anthem.) Hill picked games in print against staffers from The Tennessean last season and rare was the week when she didn’t go with her team despite its struggles.

Best logo -- We hit this in our Power Rankings of helmets. It’s hard not to love that Colts horseshoe. First, it’s a classic with a lot of history in two great cities. Second, it’s a good luck charm so long as it’s pointed the right way. It’s practically stitched onto the image that comes into my head when I think of Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. Given the divisional competition -- three cookie-cutter “modern” NFL Properties designs (OK, the Texans’ isn’t too bad), this is a runaway.

Best tailgating -- It’s a Houston claim to fame. I get steady invitations to stop by but have always resisted, because it’s not part of a reporter’s pregame routine. Perhaps my boss will let me alter a game day to test things out for myself. It’s a venue where cars line up well before the gates open and where there were huge complaints from non-ticket-holders because of a new rule forbidding them from taking up coveted parking lot space for pregame partying.

Best shot at HOF, non-QB -- Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is closer to the end of his career than Andre Johnson, so he gets the vote here. He’s 31 but remains a consistent force who’s a threat on every play. Offensive coordinators, left tackles and quarterbacks have to worry about him all the time, and game plans are built around slowing him. A high percentage of his sacks come with forced fumbles. With a few more good sack totals, his numbers will be at the right level to earn induction.

Best mascot -- Much to rival T-Rac’s chagrin in Nashville, I am going with wise-guy Jaxson De Ville of the Jaguars. Admittedly, it may be because I see him less and absence makes the heart grow fonder. But he’s clever and edgy in a way that extends his appeal beyond people whose age is in single digits. He’s an athlete who’s bungeed onto the field and flipped off a light tower before rip lining, but his softer side is unafraid to dance to Michael Jackson. He's also been on fire and caught a last-second game-winning field goal.

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