AFC South update

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The AFC South is a confusing division. It houses one of the undefeated teams left in the NFL and two teams with just a single win each. Yet no one has written any of the teams off to win the division. Let’s take a look at where each team stands going into Week 7.

Tennessee Titans

First off, it’s a battle of the undefeated. The Tennesse Titans standing alone on top of the AFC South at 5-0 will face the also undefeated AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers at home in Nashville.

The Titans are coming off a hard-fought overtime victory against divisional rival Houston Texans, sending the Texans to a 1-5 record while remaining undefeated. They’ve taken a comfortable two-game lead over the second-place Indianapolis Colts.

Some fun fan history from the folks at NFL Research :
– Steelers at Titans is the 5th game in NFL history between 2 undefeated teams in Week 7 or later (excluding strike seasons)

– The winner of the previous 4 such games went on to make the Super Bowl that season

– Titans coach Mike Vrabel played in and won 2 such games w/ the Patriots.

So this game could very well determine which team makes the Super Bowl in 2020.

The Titans will continue their offensive assault behind running back Derrick Henry, who had another 200-yard game and was named AFC offensive player of the week for his efforts in week 6. The Steelers, meanwhile, will be without starting linebacker Devin Bush, who was placed on season-ending IR due to a ruptured ACL last week.

Houston Texans

Houston fought a good fight against the Titans in week 6, taking the Titans to over-time before Derrick Henry slammed into the end zone to send the Texans to a 1-5 record.  It was maybe one of their best games of the season, and definitely since the departure of fired head coach Bill O’Brien. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson also respectable had a day. Watson went for 28/37, 335 yards, 4 TDs, 138.9 passer rating in the over-time thriller.

Next up: The Texans will host QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Packers are looking to rebound after taking one to the chin from one QB Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Houston looks to try and salvage the season and get things to turn around.

With a Deshaun Watson on the offensive, defensive end J.J. Watt on the defense, I wouldn’t look for this game to be a gift for the Packers. Former Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb would like nothing better than to hand his former team back to back losses.

Jacksonville Jaguars

So it would seem for now likely that the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets will vie for the over-all first-round pick come April 2021. Trevor Lawrence anyone?

Jaguars are facing a tough West Coast trip to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. They were supposed to have a bye this week, but due to Covid-19 and NFL reshuffling schedule, they will take week 8 instead of week 7.

I am struggling to find a reason that would give the Jaguars any hope in winning this game. Especially when there has been nothing to indicate the Jaguars are going to get better this season, not when they have given up 30 or more points in five consecutive games.

Offensively, QB Gardner Minshew, who, to me, seems to be regressing after his first game of the 2020 season. He’s only completing 67.5 % of his passes. Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone has remained non-committal if Minshew will remain the team’s starter going forward.

Indianapolis Colts 

Colts standing at 4-2 have a bye.

 

Chat with Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303

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