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Audibles: AFC South Week 2 preview

9/12/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Indianapolis Colts (0-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-1), 1 p.m. ET

The Colts, who aren't used to losing in September at all, are at risk of falling to 0-2 if they don't show a big improvement over their Week 1 performance against Chicago.

Expect Peyton Manning to look much more comfortable if he's not under constant pressure, which is the key story line of this game. Center Jeff Saturday appears to be on track to return from a knee injury, and while the won't be 100 percent, he will improve the offenses chances of handling the Vikings' intimidating interior line duo of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

The key is in the middle for the Colts defense as well. Ed Johnson got in trouble and got himself cut. Undrafted rookie Eric Foster will step in. Can he and the ends, who will slide inside as part of the mix, hold up against left guard Steve Hutchinson and center Matt Birk, two crafty veterans whose job is to create creases for Adrian Peterson?

Buffalo Bills (1-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1), 1 p.m. ET

If the Jaguars are to level their record at 1-1, the defense may need to carry the day. Young quarterback Trent Edwards can be rattled, and Jacksonville defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will use his rookie ends Quentin Groves and Derrick Harvey some and he will blitz some, though his biggest blitz last week backfired on Kerry Collins' first snap. But Edwards may have Jason Peters back protecting his blindside.

Jacksonville should look to run outside the majority of the time. A patchwork interior defensive line could struggle working against Marcus Stroud, a guy with something to prove in Northeastern Florida. David Garrard is one interception away from matching his 2007 season total. Matt Jones needs to continue to get separation and be a physical target.

This could be a great game for returners with Roscoe Parrish ever dangerous for Buffalo and Brian Witherspoon coming off an excellent debut. The Bills will cover better.

Tennessee Titans (1-0) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1), 1 p.m. ET

The Titans put up a real dud in Cincinnati last season, getting shelled 35-6. But Carson Palmer played poorly last week and the Titans rush is coming off a seven-sack game, all from the line. If Albert Haynesworth is good to go, and I think he'll be back from a concussion that cost him some time against Jacksonville, the Titans should harass the quarterback again. Only shoddy tackling would make for poor run defense.

The Bengals best chance here comes if they can find a couple of plays that flip the field or produce points from the defense and special teams. Right defensive end Antwan Odom jumped from Tennessee to Cincinnati as a free agent and will be eager to get past Michael Roos and to make some noise.