This was supposed to publish yesterday, but I got busy and forgot so we will have to go into this post the Houston Texans not going to 0-2 on the season like we all thought. Even with the win, the Jacksonville Jaguars can still take a big leap in the AFC South if they take care of business on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field.
Anyway, here is what the rest of the AFC South has going this week:
Houston at Cincinnati
I picked the Bengals to win at home this week and they didn’t deliver. Andy Dalton appears to have fallen off a cliff since Hue Jackson departed from the offensive coordinator position and he’s nearing the bottom of the fall. For Houston, they still looked like a team with a swath of issues, mainly on their offensive line. Deshaun Watson was hit or miss much of the night, but I thought he showed some improvement and promise in the second half, showing how he can be dangerous out of the pocket with his touchdown run. If Houston wants to make any noise however, Watson is going to have to progress quickly, which I can’t see happening with their offensive line and offensive design. Bill O’Brien didn’t really do Watson many favors in their passing game, making it easier for him and slowing the rush, nor did he realize that D’onta Foreman is the team’s best running back.
Arizona at Indianapolis
Unlike the Texans, I don’t think the Indianapolis Colts will struggle to go 0-2 with the Cardinals coming in. I guess the Colts are starting Jacoby Brissett, who they aquired via trade right before the 53-man roster cut deadline. I’m a fan of Brissett, but he’s kind of in a no-win impossible situation with the Colts, as their roster appears to be a total disaster without Andrew Luck to put makeup on a pig. The Cardinals looked rough Week 1 as well, but they at least have a defense that can suffocate the Colts and likely force some turnovers.
Tennessee at Jacksonville
And the big one. I think the winner of this game ultimately wins the AFC South. I’ll be going into the matchups more in depth with another article later, but this is going to be a battle of the lines of scrimmage. The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line looked like one of the best lines I’ve seen in a while, on any team, against the Texans last week, but as we saw on Thursday Night Football Houston’s line is a total mess. Regardless, we’ve seen the Jaguars get shut down by bad offensive lines in the past, so simply beating up on guys they should beat up on is a step in the right direction. The Tennessee Titans have a much better offensive line than Houston, but their run game was still stifled by a suspect Oakland Raiders defense. On the other side of the coin the Jaguars offensive line took it to a good Houston front, so a big factor will be if they can repeat that performance against a good Titans front seven. Turnovers will be key.