The Colts and Titans battle, but the Texans stay on top of the AFC South

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303 

With the playoff race in the AFC heating up, the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans try and keep pace with the Houston Texans.

The Colts and Titans squared off against each other in Indianapolis on Sunday and the loser could find themselves two games back in the AFC South.

The last-place Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Colts (6-6)Titans (7-5)

The Colts came out firing as quarterback Jacoby Brissett led his team down the field during the first half, completing 10 of 14 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill, despite completing 11 of 13 in the first half, had been sacked 5 times.

Coming out in the second half, down by 3, Tennessee safety Kevin Byard intercepted a Brissett pass and returned it to the Colts 14 yard line, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Ryan Succop for the tie, making it 17-17.

As the fourth quarter got underway, the Titans defense once again forced another 3-and-out for the Colts. Late into the fourth quarter Colts set up for a go-ahead 46-yard field goal. Titans S Dane Cruikshank got through to block the kick, that was then recovered and returned for a touchdown by cornerback Tye Smith, making it 24-17 Titans.

Late into the fourth, Tannehill hit a 40-yard TD pass to wide receiver Kalif Raymond with just over 3 minutes left to seal the victory for the Titans. Final score, 31-17 Titans.

Titans: Up next, a road trip on Sunday at Oakland.
Colts:  Head to Tampa Bay next Sunday.

Jaguars (4-8)

The last place Jacksonville Jaguars saw their playoffs hopes dashed on Sunday, taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jaguars, behind quarterback Nick Foles, lost their first three possessions of the game to turnovers, digging themselves a hole that saw head coach Doug Marrone sit his 88 million dollar quarterback in favor of rookie Gardner Minshew.

This happened little too late for the Jaguars to mount a comeback as they dropped to 4-8 on the season, losing to the Buccaneers 28-11.  The question becomes, who is starting next week against the Los Angeles Chargers? Marrone hasn’t decided, or at least he isn’t saying just yet, leaving many to wonder if the Foles era is one and done in Jacksonville.

Texans (8-4)

Sitting atop the AFC South, Houston Texans hosted the AFC East leading New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Texans knew they needed this win to stay a game ahead of the surging Tennessee Titans, who, as I mentioned earlier in this article, knocked off the Indianapolis Colts to move within a game of the Texans.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had himself quite the night against the stout Patriots defense.  Watson went 18-of-25, for 234 yards and three touchdowns. While the Texans defense held the Patriots offense in check all night, forcing Brady to throw early and off-target.

Despite a late run by the Patriots, the Texans held on as they watched a very well placed on-side kick roll out of bounds, securing a 28-22 victory, as they managed to snap an 8 game losing streak against the Patriots.

Next for the Texans, they will host the Denver Broncos.

Talk AFC South with Lisa on Twitter // @lj1303

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