AFC South Week 2 Game Reports
In order to get a feel for the teams we will play, I’ll be watching our divisional foes and who they face (especially if they’re in the NFCE) each week. This week was tortuous as the rest of the games were messes. Good football was tough to be be found.
After watching these three games, the Jacksonville Jaguars are clearly the cream of the crop. Will this continue? Who knows, it’s only two games, but they seem far more efficient and better coached than their divisional rivals.
Texans 17 (0-2) vs Titans 20 (1-1)
Only 12% of teams at 0-2 go on to the play-offs, which is not good news for the Texans. Their penalties were an issue as they came at the worst times. They started the game behind as the result of a fake punt going 66 yds for a TD, which put them in catch-up mode all game.
A big issue for Houston was a new left tackle that didn’t help a porous O-line which looked dreadful. Flags, sacks (4/21), hits. 11-88 on penalties. However, Houston won the stats, looked better, but that first TD killed them. Plus Watson’s RZ interception, which was a terrible decision on his part.
Watson was inconsistent with some terrible throws (mostly from bad choices), but some very good ones. They suffered a missed FG in the game as well which is how much they lost by.
As far as the Titans, they too had a new tackle and Blaine Gabbert starting. He was ok, more consistent than Watson, but nothing special. In fact, the Titans used the wild cat formation with Derrick Henry four times in a row, and a fifth time with Henry throwing a pass. They tried it later in the game, too.
Using the wild cat that many times shows they don’t trust the QB. Reports say Marcus Mariota has issues with full feeling in his hand since his thumb injury.
The lone Gabbert TD came from an RPO play. to Taiwan Taylor on a screen pass that he ran in for 17 yards. They resorted to a lot of gimmicks, which worked, but to say the Titans looked good would be far from the case. Not to mention, it isn’t sustainable. They’re facing Jacksonville on Sunday and that defense will eat them alive.
This was one of those games where it was a mess to watch and without Derrick Henry and penalties at the wrong time by the Texans, it would be a L. Which is sad because I like Mark Vrabel and Matt LeFluer, but their offense was anemic and the defense allowed 437 yards.
- 1st Downs HT 21 TT 15
- Rushing HT 6 TT 7
- Passing HT 13 TT 7
- 3rd Downa HT 5-11-45% TT 5-15-33%
- Total Yards HT 437 TT 283
- Offensive Plays HT 62 TT 57
- Yards per play HT 7.0 TT 5.0
David Fluellen RB (groin)
Colts 21 (1-1 ) vs Redskins 9 (1-1)
Redskins vs the Colts was another game where the winner was not anything to write home about as it was about mistakes rather than better play. I will say this though about the Colts, while they weren’t anything special, they did look crisp. The same cannot be said about the Redskins.
How Andrew Luck played last week continued to his one: almost all throws ten yards or under, and if Washington had better inside linebackers they may have stopped him. Also, they didn’t rush him often.
On offense, Alex Smith reverted to check down Charlie when he saw his receivers drop crucial passes at the worst moments. But, if I were to lay the blame at any one group, it would be the O-Line. They were pitiful.
It seemed like Smith often had little time and their run blocking was poor. When Jay Crowder is the leading rusher with 29 yards, things are bad. Add to that, Jay Gruden did not change up the play calls when he saw the run game was DOA.
There were sloppy tackles on defense. I’d say all the crispness the ‘skins had last week wilted on the road, because what I saw was a team that didn’t seem motivated.
DJ Swearinger intercepted Luck twice and still Washington couldn’t score a single TD. That’s pitiful. I’d say the bottom line was third downs, they just couldn’t get them. Indy was 9-16-56% and Washington was 5-15-33%. 33% is how you lose no matter if you have all the yards unless those yards are inside the RZ.
3-3 and 0-2 is why Indy won. They didn’t do a whole lot between the 30’s, but they converted when it mattered. There just isn’t much to say when one QB out does another and still loses, especially when he has the ball six more minutes.
The Colts looked better than they have in a long time, but all Jacksonville will need to do is take away the short passes inside and make them run and they should win. The Redskin’s receivers dropping balls at the worst times is what did them in, not so much Indy’s defense.
Rob Kelley RB (toe)
Brandon Scherff G (knee)
Trent Williams T (knee)
Hassan Ridgeway DT (calf)
Jordan Wilkins RB (ankle)
Quincy Wilson CB (concussion)
Patriots* 20 (1-1) vs Jaguars 31 (2-0 baby)
What a game!
I was there and it was so freaking fun to see, not just because of the win, but because a) it was a win vs the Patriots* b) if we see each other in the playoffs, home field advantage will matter and c) that team Sunday was so balanced.
That’s the key to going far: balance. The defense smothered Tom Brady* who was off all day, sometimes because of pressure coming at him, but sometimes because he was seeing ghosts. The ghosts of heat shimmering from the stadium as he sweltered in the hottest game in 15 years. Ambulances were carting Patriot fans away and in fact, after half time, many didn’t return. Either in dejection or to get away from our nice summer weather.
The offense was aggressive and without Leonard Fournette, OC Nathaniel Hackett let Bortles sail. And boy did the BOAT ever. 4 TDS, 377 yards. He was docked for an INT but it went through Austin Sefarian-Jenkins’ hands, otherwise it would’ve been a pristine outing. Beyond the passing game though, Bortles gave everyone the giggles as he laid into defenders–twice, on runs. Flat out leveled Deatrich Wise Jr. (I believe it was him) who left with a finger injury.
The first drive for both teams was indicative of their whole game…one sputtered out and the other scored. Half way through the 4th quarter and the Pats* wide receivers had a total of 38 yards. That’s how NE’s* day went.
When a team has 71% third down conversions, good things happen — like wins against a team with a lot of rings. The only item that needs to be cleaned up is penalties (again). 71 yards of them. The only “silver” lining is most weren’t at bad times
Look at these stats, 27 first downs and 14 third downs. Stats typically only give 1/2 the story, but when a team gets 22 passing first downs, it means they’re aggressive and clicking.
Finally, have to bring up that the Jags used a safety and a linebacker (rotating which ones) to cover Rob Gronkgowski. Which is pretty ballsy. By using them, it allowed the corners to cover receivers hence the lack of receiving yards going into the 4th.
Calais Campbell (eye)
Cam Robinson (ACL-IR)
Donte Moncrief (knee) *he looked fine after the game
Patrick Chung S (concussion)
Trey Flowers DL (concussion)
Deatrich Wise Jr. DL (finger)