The Chiefs steamroll the Texans, go on to AFC Championship

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It was a rocky first quarter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Down 21-0, it looked like the underdog Houston Texans were going to destroy the home team. That wasn’t to be the case as the Chiefs took the game over, beating the Texans 51-31. This loss brings up a lot of questions for the Texans coaching staff’s future.

Not many people gave the Texans a chance to win in Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes were slated to march right through anything the Texans defense could give them. But in that first quarter, the Chiefs looked lost, confused, and like they had completely underestimated their opponents. Kansas City receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. Their special teams were a disaster, giving up 2 touchdowns. It was ugly.

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AFC South playoff picture

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With just two more weeks in the season, the AFC South divisional race got a little clearer Sunday. At least it did for the Houston Texans, who came into Nissan Stadium in Nashville trying to inch a little closer to their second straight division title.

The Texans were able to get the upset over the favored Tennessee Titans, 24-21.

Offensively, the Texans found great success behind running back Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has had a history of playing very well against his in divisional rival, did not disappoint going for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

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Houston Texans try to define their season

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Houston Texans right now is, what is the team’s identity?  We hear this statement every season regarding one team or another. What constitutes a team identity anyway?

I heard it all day following the Texans loss to the Broncos. The analyst said this team is searching for their identity. Ok, well did they have their identity when they beat the Patriots the week before?  I always found this phrase more associated with teams that are young and still working on continuity, not teams 15 weeks into the season.

Houston has far bigger problems then hoping to find an “identity”.  They are sitting at 8-5 and tied with a red hot Tennessee Titans team right now. A team who have reeled off 4 straight wins in a row behind new quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

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AFC South: Week 2 Review

Lisa Johnson
AFC South Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

Week 2 of the AFC South schedule saw all 4 teams battling each other for control of the South.

While the Texans and Colts have won 9 out of 10 seasons, the Jaguars and Titans are pushing to end that reign.

Both teams failed to gain any ground within the division, but it’s still early and there is a lot of football to go. This division could come down to the final games late in December.

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AFC South – it’s all about the quarterback

 

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

NFL teams are all too familiar with quarterback issues. Whether due to injury or working to find just the right guy, many teams across the league struggle with this every season.

This year, however, it seems that especially in the AFC South, QB play is going to be the big deciding factor.

With the shocking news this week of the retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis is the perfect place to start looking at this divison…

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Pro Bowl Day 2: Let the Flag Football Championships begin

Dayna O’Gorman,
Senior Sports Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

What started out as a rainy, windy day in Orlando, ended with perfect temperatures, hot dance moves, and a whole lot of fun.

The NFC practice had to be moved indoors due to the weather. With that change, it allowed the NFC practice and the AFC practice to be held at different times, which allowed fans to be able to watch both conferences. Today I attended the AFC practice.

Quarterbacks Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), DeShaun Watson (Houston), and Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) took turns running plays with the team while head coach Anthony Lynn watched from a distance, letting coaches Gus Bradley and others take over.

The QBs ran a few running plays, but when they switched to passing plays, it seemed to turn into a game of keep away. The defense made their presence known by grabbing interceptions and blocking passes. Let’s just say, it was a good thing there weren’t any officials on the field. It was all in good fun and the players loved it.

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Can Trubisky Lead the Chicago Bears in Year Two?

Official Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

The hype train has made its way to Chicago. A new head coach, several new weapons added from free agency and the NFL Draft and a young second-year quarterback to lead them.  

It’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a 23-year old. But when this has been your dream since childhood, you better be ready.

Having been taken number two overall in the 2017 NFL Draft after only playing one full season at North Carolina, the pressure to prove himself was an understatement. Unfortunately, quarterback Mitch Trubisky was thrown in without a chance to learn a system and make it his own.

Poor coaching and play calling overshadowed his true talent. But this year is different. This year Trubisky will play with a swagger the NFL did not get to see. His love of the game will be on display and it will show in a big way.

Can Trubisky lead the Chicago Bears to a winning season in 2018? I tend to think so for several reasons.

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Divisional Impact of Deshaun Watson’s Injury

Official Lions Reporter

 

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

 

Less than 24 hours after the city of Houston celebrated a World Series win, the fans in Houston get dealt a devastating blow.  Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL at practice today and is done for the season.  He was on the way to having a very special season.  After already losing defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker Whitney Mercilus, the last thing this team needed was an injury their quarterback.

This news caps off a rather crazy week for the Texans.   The Texans owner, Bob McNair, made some questionable comments last week, inferring that Texans players were “inmates”.   News also broke earlier today that their division rival Indiana Colts quarterback Andrew Luck would be shut down for the rest of the season as well.

This leads us to ask the very intriguing question.  Are the Jacksonville Jaguars now in a position where they could win the division?

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Browns Offensive Woes Continue

Kate Arhar
Kate Arhar Browns Reporter

By Cleveland Kate // @ClvlndK8

Browns 17 – 33 Texans

Another tough game to watch for Browns fans. While most seemed surprised at the blow-out, if you look at their schedule up until now (Jets, Colts, Bengals), it’s only going to get harder as the season progresses.  Visions of an 0-16 record loom large in the minds of even die hard fans. And the fear that getting the first pick in the draft (again) will only bring disappointment as the front office seems to struggle with player selection and analytics is very real.

Week after week fans see players the Browns released making plays, like wide recievers Willie Snead in NO or Travis Benjamin in Los Angeles for the Chargers.  They see players they passed on in the draft wining games; quarterbacks Carson Wentz PHI and Deshaun Watson HOU being the most popular benchmarks so far. And they question the ability of the front office – and analytics – to put together a football team. Rightfully so.

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Horrendously Horrible in Houston

Official Tennessee Titans Fan Reporter

The Titans embarrass themselves against divisional rival Houston Texans with a loss 57-14.

By Karen Christensen  // @ksc47

Tennessee Titans 15 Houston Texans 57

When your team loses this bad, it makes you overthink everything.  How in the world could they just play so bad for four quarters and not make any adjustments to turn the tide?  I hope the team regroups and reassembles and rises out of the ashes like a phoenix. Or like an NFL team with a will to win like the team that played against the Seattle Seahawks last week.

The tone of the game was set right from the start when quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a pass that was intercepted by Texan safety Andre Hal in the first quarter. Except for the two touchdowns Mariota ran in himself, there just were not many plays by the Titans that were anything to get excited about.   

Matt Cassel in at QB by Donn Jones AP Titans online

Mariota suffered a hamstring injury during his second touchdown run and did not return to the game. Matt Cassel was in at QB in the second half of the game and this was not a good look at all. Cassel had three turnovers and zero points…the turnovers added 13 points for the Texans. Lawd, have mercy, what a mess.

I kept hoping that the Titans would get a run game going, that running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry would be able to get some touchdowns since Cassel wasn’t exactly throwing the football where he needed to be throwing it, but it wasn’t to be.

The Titans defense had no answer to the Texans’ rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson who had five touchdowns. Embarrassing. The Titans didn’t seem to have an answer to the Houston’s wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins either.  Tennessee rookie cornerback Adoree Jackson had a rough time covering Hopkins (maybe the height difference hindered him) and why defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau did not move the more experienced cornerback Logan Ryan to cover Hopkins earlier is questionable. The Titans defense was just absent.  Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey got his first QB sack this season and safety Kevin Byard got his career first interception, but that was about all folks.

Kevin Byard tackles DeAndre Hopkins  Donn Jones, AP Titans Online

In his Monday press conference, head coach Mike Mularkey revealed that Mariota has a hamstring sprain and may be able to play this Sunday in Miami against the Dolphins. His status is officially “day to day.” In addition to Mariota’s injury, Mularkey said that he doesn’t expect safety Johnathan Cyprien or wide receiver Corey Davis to play this next Sunday due to hamstring injuries.

The Titans are still at the top of the AFC South, 2-2 the same as the Texans and Jags, with the Colts at the bottom.  The Titans play the Texans again in December, so the coaching staff has plenty of time to come up with a new plan for that match up.  

The Titans are on the road again for their next matchup, traveling to Miami to face the 1-2 Dolphins, who lost to the New Orleans Saints 20-0 last week. So this matchup involves two teams with embarrassing losses that most likely will be trying their best to play hard to save face and get back on top of their game. Per TitansOnline:

We are already on to Miami,” Mularkey said. “We’re trying to get the taste out of our mouths. We have a lot of football left. There’s seven 2-win teams and six 3-win teams and we’re right in the middle of them in this first quarter of the season.”

This fan is ready for all of the Titans players to get healthy and work together as a well oiled machine.  This loss was not fun. It hurt to watch the guys out there after allowing a 30-point first half with no adjustments and no answers to the Texans’ pounding. For the December 3 re-match the coaches better have a plan! The Dolphins are up next so time for a total turn around by all three parts of this Titans organization. 

Want to talk Titans with Karen?  Find her on Twitter @ksc47

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