AFC South Week 1 Review – Each week, I’ll be previewing and reviewing the other teams in our division. The road to the Play-Offs and Atlanta go through them. Starting this week, look for Injury reports for the four teams and the teams they play.
NE* 27 vs Houston 20
As it often happens, some rookie QB and/or first year starter rips off a few wins in a row and the NFL crowns them the next Brady*. Almost without exception, these narratives are false because the “pundits” and fans overlook their newness is why they win.
Last season, Deshaun Watson was given about ten plays, eight of them deep and Bill O’Brian let him rip. Deep balls work because in a 50-50 match-up, the receiver wins far more than he doesn’t against the cornerback (unless he plays for Jacksonville or LA Chargers).
This can work for a time, but soon defenses get enough tape and simple plays and deep balls start getting picked or batted. Add to this, QB’s who come back from injury are notoriously skittish in the pocket and panic. With a weak and injured OL, Watson was in trouble. He looked like a typical rookie.
While it was week one and a lot can change in a few weeks, the Texans D-line wasn’t great and JJ Watt looked rusty. Combined with a leaky door O-line that allowed 12 hits on Watson and it wasn’t pretty.
Points to take away for the Jags in future match-up:
- Brady* did better than he should have because Houston’s front 7 was pitiful. Belichick also used some creative ways to create mismatches by motioning running backs and slots changing who covered them. The Texans often found their defense caught off guard.
- Watson will be meat to a starving Jax line
- NE* pass rush will give the Jags fits
Jags 20 vs Giants 15
This game was one missed tackle by Calais Campbell, 112 yards of penalties given to the Giants in the form of 3 FGs and dropped passes. The drops can’t be overlooked and if you think so, you didn’t see the Chargers vs Chiefs game. Philip Rivers could’ve had a 600 yard day if not for drops. His passes weren’t bad, they were on the money dimes.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs had gorilla glue on their gloves, they caught everything and that was the difference in the game — catches vs drops.
Bortles isn’t Rivers and if you’re not a great QB, you’ve got to have some help. No Leonard Fournette and the dropsy triplets isn’t a good recipe for continued success. The defense being on the field that long, will take its toll. In a game and in the season.
No doubt if you’re reading this, you saw the game, but did you see how well Myles Jack made the switch to middle linebacker? Very impressive, as was rookie Leon Jacobs. Neither guy faced some plebe QB, but a longtime savvy vet. Kuddos.
Jacksonville played a lot of zone which worked, except against OBJ. This is to note as the Pats* don’t have a WR like OBJ, but rather utilize an array of different receivers/catching backs that tend to surprise.
- penalties can fixed
- Hackett needs to use DJ Chark against the Patriots* and if there’s a drop repeat, bring in a vet and pronto
- hoping that barely using FB Tommy Bohanon and the RPO being absent was Jax wanting to keep some surprises for this Sunday
Bengals 34 vs Colts 23
Indy’s defense is bad and the sun is hot. I take that back, their D-Line pass rush is ok, but the secondary and run stopping is bleh. They were no match for the weapons that the Bengals have in Joe Dixon, AJ Green, Tyler Eifert and John Ross.
Andrew Luck showed why fans marked off days on the calendar in anticipation, his accuracy is something special. He’s not the same daredevil he once was as a dual threat, but his arm is just fine in the short game.
Their run game though? Not great. It wasn’t because of Cincy being All-Pro worthy on their line, more that their stable is a little weak. I also believe they went heavy on pass protection personnel over road graters. Against a secondary as good as Jacksonville’s, Luck may not see the same the production.
Neither team has front trenches that’s making people drool.
- Luck is the Colts. If he can’t throw, game over.
- he had six completions over 10 yards out of 9 passes. 5 of them within 12 yards. Of the 4 over 12 yards, a comp at 16, incompletes at 20 and 32 and a TD at 25. He threw 9 screens, was 7-9. He was lethal inside the five at 20-22. This should be stowed away for later. 20 of his 53 attempts were completions inside the 5.
- the way to beat him is with linebackers and a pass rush
Titans 20 vs Dolphins 27
First off, hand clap to anyone who watched the game live. I’m thankful for the NFL Game pass which boils games down to no commercials or only the plays (plus A-22) because this was an ugly game to watch.
Titans scoring summary: 2 FG’s, a 4 yd run and a kick off return. Those 20 points were ugly scores and as a Jax fan, we know ugly scores. One run points are not sustainable for a successful season.
To note* Derrick Henry is fast, he was clocked at 21.46 MPH. Jax couldn’t run down Shaquon Barkley at 19.82…Lewis averaged 4.7 yards a carry; however, he ripped one off for 26 yards which skews things a bit.
I figured the Titans would lose with a new Head Coach and staff, but didn’t think Mariota would stink so badly they’d bring in Blaine Gabbert, who didn’t do much better. The two combined for 3 interceptions, 0 TDs, 220 yards and a rating of 37.2. What’s worse is neither was sacked.
Their receivers had one catch that resulted in yards over 20. Now, it’s not like the Dolphins were burning the world, their offense was almost as pitiful, but the turnovers are what killed Tennessee. Minus that and the stats between the two teams were very close.
- the Titans are in trouble. They only had 220 passing and 116 rushing, 15 was from Marcus. If you can’t pass and you can’t run and your defense doesn’t sack or can stop Ryan Tannehil who was 20-28, you are in trouble.
- Mark Vrabel is a defensive coach, one could think that unit will get better.
- Mariota is in a bad spot and faces an uphill battle. There’s not much worse than having a parade of coaches, schemes and playbooks to ruin a quarterback. Plus to suffer and injury. I think only Cleveland and Denver has screwed up worse when developing first round quarterbacks. Shameful.