AFC South News and Notes
Luck completed 21 of 38 passes for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns. He rushed four times for 29 yards and another score. The Colts are on bye Week 9 so Luck owners need to prepare accordingly.
Trent Richardson continued his slide down the running back rankings. He rushed 14 times for 37 yards (2.6 ypc) and caught no passes out of the backfield. Owners have to be wondering where the dynamic rookie runner disappear to. At this point, Richardson isn’t a recommended play.
While the win was terrific, the Colts lost veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne for the rest of the season. Wayne had caught 5 balls for 50 yards before exiting with a torn ACL. He was only 10 games short of Tim Brown’s NFL record for consecutive games played by a wide receiver. At 34 years old the question will be whether Wayne is ever the same again. Many (myself included) expected a big game from T.Y. Hilton but he failed to live up to the expectations. Hilton caught only 2 of his 11 targets for 27 yards. With Wayne down, Hilton gets a bump in value as the #1 option for Luck. Darrius Heyward-Bey stepped up with 4 grabs for 44 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Coby Fleener, who will now be leaned on more heavily, also stepped up with 5 catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. The Colts visit Houston in Week 9 after the bye.
Houston Texans: The Texans came into their match up with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs with a starting quarterback that had never thrown an NFL regular season pass. All things considered, a 17-16 loss has to be taken with a bit of optimism.
The good news is Case Keenum fared quite well. He completed 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he did commit a costly fumble on their last possession which sealed the win for KC. With Matt Schaub still questionable, we shall see who starts after their Week 8 bye.
Now it’s time for the bad news. Running back Arian Foster left the game with a strained hamstring after rushing 4 times for 11 yards. Early indications are it isn’t serious and the bye couldn’t come at a better time, but hamstring injuries can linger. To make matters worse, Ben Tate suffered what’s being reported as four broken ribs in the game. Check their practice status after the Week 8 bye to see who may be healthy enough to tote the rock in Week 9 for Houston.
It was a poor day for Andre Johnson as he reeled in only 4 passes for 89 yards. The 22.3 yards per catch average is excellent, but with the Texans trying to protect their new quarterback, Andre only saw six targets. Johnson owners should probably hope for Schaub to come back in Week 9. DeAndre Hopkins reeled in 3 of his 4 targets for 76 yards and the Texans only score. Hot sleeper Garrett Graham continued to disappoint with only 3 catches for 38 yards. Houston has a nice match up with division rival Indianapolis as the Sunday night game in Week 9.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The race for Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota rages on. The Jaguars were embarrassed at home by the San Diego Chargers by the score of 24-6.
Chad Henne still managed to throw for 318 yards but failed to get the team into the endzone. He also took 6 sacks in the game as the offensive line continues to be a weakness. If Henne can get his team in the endzone he could be a solid bye week filler going forward as the Jaguars throw often in catch up mode.
Maurice Jones-Drew continued to struggle. While his 4.1 yards per carry average is nice, the score dictated he only get 9 carries. Jones-Drew is losing his appeal as even a flex play at this point. Unless the Jaguars get him more involved in the passing game, they are wasting his skills (and his cap space).
Cecil Shorts, questionable all week as he could barely lift his arm without pain, showed he’s a tough guy and continues to be start-worthy in PPR leagues. His 8 catches for 80 yards were admirable though his two dropped touchdowns surely hurts. Justin Blackmon had a quiet day for him reeling in six passes for 58 yards. Mike Brown surprisingly lit up the boxscore with 5 catches for 120 yards. As easily the third option, this is more fluke than something to expect to continue. Things could get ugly next week as well as the Jags face off with the San Francisco 49ers.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans fell behind 17-0 at halftime to the 49ers before losing 31-17. The Titans didn’t score their first touchdown until the 7:07 mark of the 4th quarter.
Jake Locker fared pretty well completing 25 of 41 for 326 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Considering the daunting match up, if you started Locker you have to be pleased with the results.
Chris Johnson still can’t get things going on the ground as he only had 9 carries for 39 yards. He did save the day through the air reeling in 4 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Why Tennessee doesn’t get him the ball more in the passing game is beyond me.
Kendall Wright was a PPR machine with 9 grabs for 98 yards. Nate Washington showed why he’s impossible to trust week-to-week by catching only 3 of his 10 targets for 62 yards. Tennessee is on bye Week 8 so prepare accordingly if you’re currently starting any Titans.