It was yet another crazy week of games in the AFC South!
All four teams once again proved that we do not really know who they are and we saw that this division might go right down to the wire. We had one divisional matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titan and two matchups with the NFC East. With Week 3 in the books the situation is now the Jaguars and Titans tied with two wins each, the Colts with one win and the Texans remain winless at the bottom of the division.
Let’s break down the key takeaways from each of the games.
Tennessee Titans 9 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 6
Games of football do not get much uglier than this. The two teams combined for 263 yards passing and 237 rushing. I do not know how much we can really takeaway from this game because it was so ugly. Both defense obviously played very well but this was as much about offensive inefficiency as it was about the defenses. Blake Bortles looked a shell of the guy who shredded the Patriots defense last week and Marcus Mariota clearly was not ready to play football this week.
Ultimately, both teams will be disappointed with the performance but secretly they will be fine with where their teams sit after three weeks. The Titans are 2-1 with two divisional wins under their belts, while playing most of the year without their best quarterback at full steam. They also sit in a great position of at-worst ending the year 1-1 with the Jaguars if the division comes down to tie breakers, and they have already done the hard bit and won on the road. The Jaguars will have been happy to come out these three games 2-1. They got their marquee win over the Patriots and they survived a trip to New York, which could have been tricky. As I say disappointing performances but generally the coaching staffs will be secretly happy heading into Week 4.
Indianapolis Colts 16 @ Philadelphia Eagles 20
The Colts must be absolutely kicking themselves because they have had every chance to start this season 3-0. A fumble in the Bengals game cost them that one and then red zone malaise cost them against the Eagles. The Eagles have now stifled both the Colts and Falcons in the red zone meaning it is likely no fluke. Luck was extremely inefficient in this game for the Colts, going 25-of-40 for 164 yards and a touchdown. Averaging four yards per attempt is pretty pathetic, there is no way to hide that. In addition, the run game looked pathetic once again, but the Eagles run defense is very good so maybe it is too early to judge that. I do not want to make too much of this but Jacoby Brissett throwing the Hail Mary is an issue. Luck has not thrown deep or to the sidelines much this season and now we can see why. His arm is not there yet. The Colts offense needs it back quickly.
The bright side for the Colts is that to have had a shot at being 3-0 their defense has played out of its skin. I expected nothing from this group but they have been fairly competent so far. They have not faced the toughest challenges so far but they have risen to whatever has been asked of them. If they can keep being this good on defense and Luck can get himself going in the next few weeks this team could make life uncomfortable for the Jaguars and Titans this season.
Houston Texans 22 vs. New York Giants 27
This scoreline actually flatters the Texans. The blew so many chances in this game to have a shot to win but then ended up needing two garbage time touchdowns to even make it seem this close. Deshaun Watson was 24-of-40 for 385 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was pretty poor at key moments but he was not helped. Lamar Miller rushed for 10 yards on 10 attempts and had a fumble. The offensive line is still a complete mess and his receiving core only seems useful 30-yards down the field. This was another ugly offensive showing and Bill O’Brien is in serious trouble.
Defensively they did fine. They sacked Eli Manning four times but his offensive line is pretty poor. They did allow Barkley to make them look pretty stupid on his touchdown run but he will do that to a lot of teams this year. It is hard to be upset with this defense because they are doing what they are being asked but the offense is not holding up its side of the bargain. Essentially all the worst fears about this team are coming true. J.J. Watt may have lost half a step and the offensive line is embarrassing. Those two combined mean the chances this teams makes the playoffs is next-to-nothing now. If they lose in Week 4 they are essentially done. If that does happen it will be a long remainder of the season for that whole organisation.
Image credit: Full Press Coverage