AFC South takes an unexpected turn

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303 

Heading into week 10, with the Texans and Jaguars on byes, the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts looked to try and gain ground on division-leading Houston Texans.

The Titans opened up week 10 against the Kanas City Chiefs, which saw the return of Chiefs MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

And he looked every part of that during the opening drive, going 6 of 8 and hitting tight end Travis Kelce for a 3-yard touchdown pass. While the Chiefs offense and Maholmes got off to a great start, the Chiefs defense struggled with the Titans ground and pound run game.

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Franchise QBs on their way out? The quarterback carousel begins early.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.

Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.

Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.

The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.

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A huge win, a couple of losses headline Week 6 for the AFC South

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

A huge win and a couple of lopsided losses highlight week 6 for the AFC South.

The Indianapolis Colts had a Week 6 bye, but the other three teams fought hard, with varying results.

Houston Texas
Deshaun Watson certainly didn’t need to explain to reporters about coverages following Houston’s Sunday come back win against the Kanas City Chiefs. Watson threw for 280 yards with one touchdown pass and scrambled for two more.

Running back Carlos Hyde padded his stats as well. Running for 116 yards with a touchdown of his own. Hyde was traded by the Chiefs to the Texans before the start of the regular season and you could tell this was a bit of a revenge game for him.

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Wrapping up the draft for the AFC and NFC South

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

This week I’ll be looking at the AFC and NFC South and how they did with their drafts.  I’ll ask 3 questions about each team.  Did they address their biggest need? Who will have the biggest impact? What could 2019 look like?

Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts. After having a pretty strong offensive line, quarterback Andrew Luck, and Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron, the Colts focused on defense.  7 of their 10 picks were defensive.

Who could have the biggest impact? Former Michigan State safety Khari Willis.  He worked hard and was an impact player.  I think he’ll fit in nicely.  2019 for the Colts?  If their defense lives up to its potential, it could be tough sledding for the rest of the AFC South.

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Titans name new offensive coordinator

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen // @ksc47

The Tennessee Titans have promoted Arthur Smith to the role of offensive coordinator. Last year’s offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur left the team after one year as he was hired as the new head coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Today the team announced that they have promoted Mr. Smith from the position of tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. Arthur Smith has been with the team through four head coaches, Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, and Mike Vrabel.

The fact that all of these head coaches have kept Arthur Smith on staff speaks volumes about how well he has been respected by the other members of the coaching staff.  

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It’s all over and there’s no shouting; Titans lose to Colts 33-17

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen //@ksc47

Colts 33 – Titans 17

The Tennessee Titans had a tumultuous year, with injuries, weird wins, and stupid losses.  They beat “good teams” like the Philadelphia Eagles and lost to “bad teams” like the Buffalo Bills. (Sorry to my original hometown team, I still love the Bills).  

And then there is the Indianapolis Colts who just seems to be the Tennessee Titans’ kryptonite, at least when quarterback Andrew Luck is playing.

The Titans can’t figure out how to beat Indianapolis when Luck is at the helm.  Now the Colts are moving on to the playoffs and the Titans are cleaning out their lockers.

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Tennessee Titans shut out New York Giants 17-0

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen //@ksc47

Titans 17 – Giants 0

The Titans won a road game at MetLife Stadium in rainy and cold New Jersey.  The victory was extra sweet as the Titans have not had a shutout game since December of 2000 when they beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-0.

The wintery weather may have cost the Titans some points, as there were some dropped passes and a missed field goal kick.  But behind Derrick Henry’s strong run game, the team prevailed. Henry had a great game with two touchdowns, 33 carries, and 170 yards.

The Titans defense was also strong; the defense was able to hold the Giants star rookie running back Saquon Barkley to only 31 yards.  The Titans defense had two turnovers during the second half of the game, with safety Kevin Byard getting his third interception of the year, and linebacker Kamalei Correa forcing a sack-fumble on Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning. The fumbled ball was picked up by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.

Coach Vrabel stated at the post-game press conference that he was proud that his team did not have any turnovers in the “tough conditions on the field”.

The game was prolonged unnecessarily by the NFL refs who seemed to want to review far too many plays, and it took them a long time to reach decisions. The fans out in the cold had to have been frustrated by the delays.  While we are on the subject of delays, the Titans did get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for having two “delay of game” calls in a row; rather strange.

All in all, it was another Derrick Henry show, with the running back breaking the record for most rushing yards in back to back games. He beat Earl Campbell’s record of 405 yards with 408 rushing yards.

 

The Titans will face the Washington Redskins next week at home on Saturday with a late afternoon kickoff time of 3:30 CT. Tennessee is now 8-6 for the season and the team needs to win the next two home games for any chance to get in the playoffs.

The Titans were hyped at the end of this game and performed a “Remember the Titans” celebration dance routine. The hype and the teamwork needs to carry on for two more weeks, for two more victories for Tennessee to have a chance to get to the Super Bowl.

Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47

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Titans keep playoff hopes alive by beating the Jaguars

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen //@ksc47

Titans 30 – Jaguars 9

Thursday Night Football in Nashville was all about Titans’ running back Derrick Henry. Period.

At the beginning of the season, Henry had stated that he wanted to be known as a premiere back. He had not had a stellar season, with RB Dion Lewis getting more yardage and carries each game.

But Thursday night it was all about Henry and he did not disappoint.

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Tennessee Titans win in the final minutes

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen // @ksc47

Tennessee Titans 26 – New York Jets 22

It was another ugly start for the Titans.  Their possession of the game ended with quarterback Marcus Mariota being sacked. Since the Titans lost to division rival Houston Texans last week 34-17; one would think that the Titans would come out with guns blazing.

Every Tennessee player on the field looked like they were wishing they were somewhere else or they were in a trance state. Mariota had a pass intercepted in the first quarter; Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned the ball 31 yards and got a touchdown, giving the Jets a 10-0 lead.

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The agony of defeat: Titans lose to the Colts 38-10

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen // @ksc47

Colts 38 – Titans 10

The thrill of victory from last week’s win is totally forgotten after this bomb of a game by Tennessee.

The Titans started out slow and only showed any signs of life at the end of the fourth quarter. That’s when wide receiver Tajae Sharpe got the only Tennessee touchdown of the game with 1:49 left to play.  

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota never looked confident in this game, and in fact, he threw several interceptions in the first half and was sacked four times. Mariota ended up having to leave by end of the first half with what ended up being a right elbow injury.  

On the other hand, the Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was not sacked at all this game, in fact, was not even hit by the Titans.

The score at halftime was Colts 24, Titans 3. The Titans only score was a field goal by kicker Ryan Succop during the first quarter.

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