In case you needed a reminder, the AFC South isn’t very good at football. The Indianapolis Colts are clearly a cut above their divisional opponents.
This is another game that fans should take with a grain of salt as the Colts have now faced four different quarterbacks in two games. That should tell you all you need to know about the quality of the Titans and Jaguars. Things might have been different had Jake Locker played, but he hasn’t been all that stellar so far this season.
The Colts will make the playoffs simply because the AFC South is a complete and utter mess. Don’t be fooled by the Texans, they will have to play some decent football teams in the near future.
Here’s what stood out on Sunday:
- The Andrew Luck passing clinic continued for a second straight week. What was most telling is that Luck rebounded from a bad interception at the end of the half to complete six of his next seven passes, including two for touchdowns in the third quarter. It continued into the fourth quarter as the Colts first three drives of the half ended in touchdowns. Luck is getting better with every game.
- Old man Reggie Wayne is still getting it done with a surgically repaired knee. His ability to get WIDE open is astonishing and his hands might be even more amazing. Its not just about having strong hands, but how you catch the ball. Those are the most important factors for a receiver. Wayne is currently on pace for a record year for a wide receiver at 36.
- Ahmad Bradshaw is so much fun to watch. He is a tough runner with a great burst and is almost the antithesis to Trent Richardson. Unfortunately, the Colts can’t run him on every drive (injury prone) and need to keep him healthy for as long as possible. Smart money says that if he’s healthy, he starts in the playoffs.
- The onside kick was beautiful. I don’t know where that Chuck Pagano came from, but he caught the Titans napping and pulled a classic Jeff Fischer move Sunday. Pat McAfee is playing at an amazing level this season and is turning into a game changer with his punts and kickoffs.
- The defense is still very much a work in progress. The Colts were basically gifted two turnovers in the first half that helped put the game out of reach. We’re still seeing issues with the pass rush and the linebackers are struggling in coverage.
- D’Qwell Jackson is a starter by default (and his contract). He was a terrible signing as the only thing he’s good at is plugging gaps against the run. He’s bad moving laterally and awful in coverage. The problem is that the options behind him are probably a lot worse.
- Bjoern Werner continues to disappoint. He’s clearly pressing and when he gets his chance, he whiffs on the sack. Its tough to live up to Robert Mathis, but Werner looks like he’s playing a different sport.
- With Antoine Bethea having a monster game for the 49ers and LaRon Landry continuing to dog it on the field, it makes you wonder why Bethea wasn’t re-signed. Landry was solid last week, but it was Jacksonville. His other games have been awful. He is a liability on the football field.
- The Titans are bad and poorly coached. They conceded the game in the third quarter, down 10 by punting at the Colts 44 on a fourth-and-four. Ken Whisenhunt is in his first year, they won’t fire him for going for it in that situation. It was a cowardly and tactically idiotic move to make.
While the Jaguars and Titans are clearly inferior opponents, and should be relegated out of the league, the fact that Colts dominated them is a good sign. Under Pagano, the Colts have had a tendency to play down to the level of their opponents. Its clear this isn’t happening anymore.
A dominant win over a weaker team is a much better indicator of future success than a close win over a good team. The fact that they did it two weeks in a row make it an even stronger case.
Fans will find out how good this team is when the Ravens come to town on Sunday.