AFC South: Steve Breaston

Wrap-up: Chiefs 28, Colts 24

October, 9, 2011
Thoughts on the Colts’ 28-24 loss to the Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium:

What it means: Even with a 17-point lead at home against a bad team, the Colts are not safe. They dropped to 0-5 because they couldn’t contain receiver Steve Breaston, who caught two touchdown passes from Matt Cassel, and because they did nothing offensively after halftime. They had four series, three first downs and 64 total net yards after intermission.

What I didn’t like: I saw Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe run through virtually the entire secondary en route to a 41-yard touchdown. And Thomas Jones did similar work on a 21-yard run up the middle, where only Antoine Bethea was able to square him up and take him down. The Colts simply have to be closer to playmakers and do better bringing them down.

What I didn’t like, II: On fourth-and-6 with the Colts' last chance, Curtis Painter threw incomplete for Anthony Gonzalez. So be it. But if you’re throwing to a guy who’s going down on fourth down, at least make it a guy who’s at or beyond the first-down marker. A catch there is the same as the incompletion was because Gonzalez wasn’t deep enough.

What I liked: Aside from that final pass attempt, Painter was about as efficient as could be expected even with the second-half stall. He hit on 15 of 27 passes for 277 yards with no sacks behind a line that included a right tackle signed in the past week. He threw two TDs to Pierre Garcon for the second week in a row and didn’t throw a pick.

Injury concern: The Colts lost Joseph Addai to a hamstring injury after just six carries and Delone Carter and Donald Brown took the rest of the work at running back.

What’s next: The Colts make a short trip to Cincinnati to face the surprising Bengals and one of the league's top defenses so far.
Austen LaneAP Photo/Stephen MortonAusten Lane has now been in the top-10 rankings of all four of the NFL Twindexes so far.
Show, don’t tell. We’re making it an NFL Twindex commandment.

“I usually hate when athletes tweet about how good their workout was,” Matt Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) tweeted Thursday in a good start, “but we had a great one today!”

Bad finish.

Plenty of NFL fans starved for morsels and insight into football and beyond would love to know what made it good.

J.J. Watt (@JJWatt) did very well with show-don’t-tell when he tweeted this picture. Yowza.

Alas, Hasselbeck and Watt are snapshot examples for us here at Twindex HQ, where we’d like to host Cleveland receiver Carlton Mitchell and Green Bay tight end Tom Crabtree. They hold the top two spots in our new poll, flip-flopping their standing from two weeks ago.

We could have a 10-event competition for the two including feats of strength and intellect and concluding with a tweet-off or a tweet-up or a tweet-meet.

They were neck and neck, and it came down to my gut feeling -- Mitchell was more consistently amusing.

Scroll through my favorites to see what was considered as we made the final cuts -- we are now trying to track 493 guys.

And hit me at @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky with tweets I need to see and people I need to follow.

Carlton Mitchell and Steve BreastonGetty ImagesCarlton Mitchell and Steve Breaston were the cream of the NFL tweeting crop in the latest Twindex.
My eyes glazed over as would-be analysts offered little worthy of attention on Twitter regarding the NBA Finals, starting with too many of these: “Who ya got tonight, Mavs or Heat?”

Yawn-inducing, akin to, “What up [insert city here]?”

Over the last two weeks, we heard who came close to missing a flight and who was delayed and what they thought of the airports they were delayed in.

But even in such a desolate landscape, wonderful things popped up.

Little-known Carlton Mitchell, a second-year Browns wide receiver, was consistently hilarious and emerged from nowhere to take the top spot -- not by a nose, but in a landslide.

Laughs are aplenty among the rest of the field in the second edition of the NFL Twindex, one man’s subjective rankings of the best NFL tweeters out there over the last two weeks.

Big names who did well in the feature’s debut disappeared, with only three players retaining a spot in the top 10.

Without further ado, the new list:

Have a tweet I need to see? A Tweeter who needs more consideration? Find me at @ESPN_AFCSouth and @PaulKuharsky.

Backward analysis: Paul Williams

April, 12, 2011
A look back at pre-draft reviews of a late-round success or an early-round miss in the AFC South.

Paul Williams, former Titans receiver, Fresno State, 2007 third round, 80th overall

Mel Kiper, 12th receiver

“… Williams will have to step it up a notch at the pro level if he’s going to reach his maximum potential. He has a chance if a team can be patient with him, coach him up, and bring him along slowly. In that scenario, he could be competing for a spot as a starter in his second or third year in the NFL. While he’s transitioning at WR, Williams will pay big dividends with his outstanding performance on special teams. His ability in this area certainly enhances his draft rating.

[+] EnlargePaul Williams
AP Photo/David RichardPaul Williams had just one catch for seven yards in his three seasons with the Titans.
Pro Football Weekly, 16th wide receiver

“Has everything you desire at the position. Is physically one of the most gifted receivers in the draft and flashed signs of brilliance at the Senior Bowl, but will require a very patient, sympathetic position coach who can improve his confidence.”

NFL Draft Scout: 16th wide receiver

COMPARES TO: Ken Lucas, Carolina – “Williams just does not impress as a wide receiver, as you can plainly see he is not happy on offense. With his previous experience and family bloodlines on defense, he would be better served playing cornerback, but needs to sit down and do a gut-check to see if he has the heart to play the game.”

After four seasons:

Fred Graves was the sort of position coach PFW suggested Williams would need, though Williams had a harsher, less patient coordinator in Mike Heimerdinger.

Williams was cut by the Titans before the start of the 2010 season and finished the season on the Houston Texans’ practice squad.

He didn’t play at all as a rookie, appeared in just five games and made just one catch for the Titans in his second year and was a practice squad guy in Year 3, doing his part to keep the Titans' never-ending search for a quality wideout moving.

Since the Williams miss, the Titans have spent five more picks on wide receivers. It’s always easy to look at a miss and see players behind him who turned out better. In this instance, Arizona got Steve Breaston in the fifth round as the Titans drafted two more non-contributing receivers after Williams in Chris Davis (fourth round) and Joel Filani (sixth).

Final Word: AFC South

October, 9, 2009
AFC: East | West | North | South NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South

Posted by’s Paul Kuharsky

Five nuggets of knowledge about Sunday’s games:
Brian Spurlock/US Presswire
Peyton Manning and the Colts typically feast on inexperienced defensive backs.
Pick on inexperience, make them pay for cushion: If the Titans defensive backs line up as far off receivers as we’ve seen them this season, Peyton Manning can have a field day on quick hits. Nick Harper seems especially easy to target in this regard. And rookie Ryan Mouton, who will be the nickel, probably ends the day with a new appreciation for the Colts’ offense. If Cortland Finnegan is back from his hamstring injury, he’ll be with Reggie Wayne most of the time. If and when Wayne wanders from the left side where Finnegan would be lined up across from him, the Titans should stray from their strict left-right setup and send Finnegan after him. Sell out to stop Wayne whether you can or not.

Houston will be determined to run it: I’m a proponent of the Cardinals and Texans slinging it all over the field. But both teams probably believe the one that runs better will win. Arizona has played far better run defense statistically, allowing 79.7 yards a game and one rushing touchdown while Houston has allowed 165 and eight. Steve Slaton’s opportunities have not been the same, but he’s down 1.5 yards per carry. If the Texans are running it, they need him doing a bit better than 3.3 yards a carry.

Can Jacksonville travel well?: A young team on the rise often has trouble with consistency. After two big division wins, how do the Jaguars handle a trip across the country to cooler weather? They got to Seattle Friday and will have a workout at Qwest Field Saturday. That’s a schedule alteration that takes them out of their routine, and we know how youth likes routine. I like their chances against Matt Hasselbeck a lot less than against Seneca Wallace. Keep letting David Garrard run.

Watch the Colts third-down defense: If Tennessee is going to have a chance, third down on offense is going to be a key. The Colts are likely to provide opportunity there. One of the league’s worst third-down defenses in 2008 is still 31st. The fine fellows at asked me about what opponents are facing on third down this year as opposed to last. It’s a yard less -- this season opponents face an average of third-and-5.4 yards where last year it was third-and-6.4. (Thanks to Pete Newmann at ESPN Stats & Information.) Tennessee has not fared well getting into third and manageable. Can it Sunday night against a team that hasn’t kept people out of it?

Options beyond Johnson: Andre Johnson is obviously the Texans’ top target. But whether he manages a big day against the Cardinals or is limited, Matt Schaub should have a chance to find some other people down field, presuming the offensive line can find ways to slow Darnell Dockett -- who Gary Kubiak called the best player he’s seen on film this year. Beyond Larry Fitzgerald, everyone knows Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. But Houston’s crafty No. 2 receiver Kevin Walter is actually averaging more yards a game (68.5) and yards a catch (17.1) than either of them.