How I See It: AFC South Stock Watch

October, 27, 2010
10/27/10
8:58
AM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. The Jaguars’ run defense: Jacksonville got gashed by the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and in yielding 236 yards, a 5.6-yard average and three rushing touchdowns, the Jaguars dropped six spots in the league ratings to 25th. On a day when only 13 passes were completed against the Jaguars, 28 of their 65 tackles were credited by game-day statisticians to defensive backs.

2. Colts kickoff coverage: Pat McAfee has been good for nearly two kickoff touchbacks a game and consistently puts the ball deep. The team’s substitute punter, Jeremy Kapinos, punted in 20 games for Green Bay in 2008-09 and one for the Jets in 2007, but doesn’t look to be a kickoff guy. Odds are Adam Vinatieri kicks off to Steve Slaton or Jacoby Jones. Vinatieri’s short kickoffs were a reason McAfee was so attractive to the Colts in the 2009 draft. The Colts are currently 19th in the league defending kick returns.

3. Titans’ tight ends: Bo Scaife was played against Philadelphia with a groin injury. But in the team’s last seven-plus quarters, when Kerry Collins has been the quarterback, Tennessee has seen six connections on 13 passes aimed for the tight end for 32 yards, with a long of 12 and a 2-yard Collins-to-Scaife connection in Jacksonville. More balls to receivers is generally a good thing for the Titans, but Jared Cook still not earning chances isn't

RISING

[+] EnlargeKevin Bentley
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertKevin Bentley will start at Brian Cushing's strong side linebacker spot.
1. Damian Williams, Titans receiver: He’s jumped Lavelle Hawkins, who the Titans spent the offseason hyping, and been a reliable target for Collins the last two weeks. I believe he should remain in the top three even if Justin Gage is recovered from a hamstring injury. Williams lost out to Marc Mariani in the return jobs competition. But when the Titans drafted him in the third round they said they thought he could develop into an eventual No. 1 and they’d be wise to let him get some chances.

2. Kevin Bentley, Texans linebacker: Bentley is coming off knee surgery while Xavier Adibi’s had a hamstring injury. Perhaps Bentley is just healed up better, but he’s gotten the nod over Adibi, at least initially, to take over Brian Cushing's strong side linebacker spot. Cushing is moving to middle linebacker for the remainder of the season to replace the injured DeMeco Ryans.

3. Jacob Tamme, Colts tight end: A big opportunity has arrived for Tamme, who’s been used infrequently on offense in his three seasons. He’s now listed as the starter for the Colts in the spot typically occupied by Dallas Clark, who’s finished for the season with a wrist injury. Tamme is fast and has good hands, but we don’t know how polished he is running routes or finding seams. Odds are we find out Monday night.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Roster Advisor

NFL SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 12/18
Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22
WEEKLY LEADERS