AFC South Week 5 Preview – Injury reports, refs, passing charts, stats

In this AFC South Week 5 Preview we cover the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots*, Tennessee Titans

Texans (1-3) vs Cowboys (1-3)

Referee Crew

Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 52 Bill Vinovich 13 San Diego accountant, former NFL officiating supervisor
U 102 Bruce Stritesky 13 * Embry Riddle airline pilot
DJ 90 Mike Spanier 20 Parry St Cloud State middle school principal
LJ 9 Mark Perlman 18 * Salem teacher
FJ 31 Mearl Robinson 2 Cheffers Air Force instructor
SJ 60 Gary Cavaletto 16 * Hancock general manager, agricultural operations
BJ 17 Steve Patrick 5 Blakeman Jacksonville State owner, supply company
  • Replay official: Mark Butterworth
  • Replay assistant: Alton James
  • Crew and position change: Spanier (swing official) replaced McKinnley during preseason and into the regular season until further notice (LJ→DJ)

The mediocre vs the mediocre. What’s to say about this game other than whichever QB shows up, wins? Now that four games have passed, there”s enough game film for defenses (and offenses) to make statements. Here on out is when (barring injuries) we see team identities – what they do well and not too well.

Which brings me to the Texans defense who are ranked 20th. What is going on there? Dallas is fourth. That’s the tale here. Dak Prescott has become the Alex Smith of yesteryear, but he will face a team that gives up 8.1 yards a pass and 2.75 TDs a game. 11 ELEVEN TDs so far.

In comparison, Dallas has surrounded 5 TDs, 7.5 yards a pass. This makes the task for Deshaun Watson and his stable of good receivers a little tougher than the other teams they’ve faced. When it comes to the run game, both teams are fairly close in yards allowed per carry, but Dallas has Zeke the Freak.

However, while the boys are ranked third in rushing yards, they’ve only scored 2 TDs. Considering the Texans have only given up 1, this is where Houston can win. Elliot is their best player – take him out and Prescott collapses. We’ve seen it enough times to know that without Zeke, the Cowboys offense stalls out.

When it comes to passing TD’s, Dallas is down in the bottom – only Denver, Arizona and Buffalo is worse.

Dak is still hesitant to throw beyond 10 yards. Lots of disturbing red areas.

I can’t help but wonder if Houston, as awful as they are against the pass, are better to give them some run? Then swap in the red zone. Better a little movement from rushing, than a lot from passing.

These teams are evenly matched, but for opposite reasons. Dallas can run the ball, throwing? Nah. Watson has thrown 7 TDs, plus he’s gotten a little more accurate as the weeks go by. Most likely due to getting back into a rhythm and getting over a lingering fear of injury.

With Houston being ranked evenly with Dallas in rushing TD’s, but tons better in passing, the edge goes to the Texans pulling off another win based on quarterbacking. With his back against the wall last week, Watson rose to the occasion to pull of an overtime victory.

Titans (3-1) vs Bills (1-3)

Referee Crew

Yrs 2017 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 24 Cal State-Fullerton retired educator
U 76 Alan Eck 3 * Bloomsburg State tax manager
DJ 13 Patrick Turner 5 * Cal State-Long Beach plant manager
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 11 Morelli Nebraska banker
FJ 7 Keith Washington 11 Parry Virginia Military Institute program financial analyst
SJ 25 Ryan Dickson 2 * Utah commercial real estate developer
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 10 * Cal State-Fullerton medical sales representative

Rookie QB vs good defense, not a match-up Buffalo wants to see. The Bills are a mess right now and only a little bit goes to QBing because the entire team looks sloppy.