Houston Texans: AFC South becoming a 2-team race

Houston Texans, Bradley Roby
Houston Texans cornerback Bradley RobyGw47151 /

The AFC South rivals of the Houston Texans are starting to break away into a two-team race for the division title.

Though the Houston Texans offense looked better than usual in Week 6 that wasn’t enough to gain the win, losing in overtime to the Tennessee Titans, and falling to 1-5 overall on the season. Since Bill O’Brien was fired as head coach, the Texans have played more energetic football on offense, but the defense is still bad and no improvement has been shown overall as a unit.

There have been some bright spots by the defense as J.J. Watt is starting to be more aggressive with a sack this past Sunday. Bradley Roby had an interception, and Jacob Martin has made some nice plays, but as an entire defensive unit, more is needed for this team to ever turn the corner and win more games in 2020.

Following Week 6, the Houston Texans are third in the AFC South at 1-5 overall, and behind them in last place are the Jacksonville Jaguars as they are also 1-5 in the standings. First place in the division goes to the undefeated Tennessee Titans at 5-0, and the Indianapolis Colts are 4-2 in second place.

Most likely there won’t be any miracle comebacks and the Houston Texans will be missing the playoffs this year. That isn’t a free pass to tank the rest of the season, because the Texans need to find ways to improve to help the future of the franchise.

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Looking at the division rivals of the Houston Texans, first the Titans are winning close games, and aren’t dominating their opponents. That said, they are getting the job done when it matters in games by taking the lead when the game is on the line, and that is what championship teams are made of.

The Texans held a fourth quarter lead against the Titans in Week 6, but eventually they couldn’t stop A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry from scoring touchdowns late in the game to gain a second win. Tennessee on the other hand is showing everyone else how a championship-level team plays by earning those type of tough wins.

As for the Titans, Henry dominated the run defense of the Texans, and they couldn’t stop him, or even slow him down. Henry had a 94-yard touchdown run against the Texans, plus he totaled 212 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving. The Titans running back scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime this past Sunday for the 42-36 win.

Tennessee did lose offensive linemen Taylor Lewan to a torn ACL so that will hurt the Titans moving forward, as he’s not an easy player to replace, especially as the left tackle, so that is something to watch moving forward.

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The Indianapolis Colts had to battle back against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6, but they earned every bit of their 31-27 win over the Bengals on Sunday. The Colts are a team that has potential, but they also aren’t the best team in the division, yet.

Philip Rivers passed for 371 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, and was only sacked once in the win. Indianapolis had 60 yards rushing from Jonathan Taylor on just 12 carries, as the rookie averaged five yards a carry.

Also for the Colts this past Sunday, Marcus Johnson led the team in receiving with five receptions for 108 yards on eight targets, as this was a breakout game for him because for the season his now has nine receptions for 188 yards. He still doesn’t have a touchdown, but keep an eye on his play as the season moves forward.

The defense of the Colts ranks tied for second in the least amount of touchdowns allowed with seven, and are in the Top 10 for the least amount of yards allowed this season as they are in seventh place. The Colts do rank first in interceptions with 10, so in terms of toughest competition for the Titans in the AFC South, Indianapolis is the best bet.

We can’t forget about the Jaguars because though they are the only team the Texans have defeated this season, but also remember in Week 1 Jacksonville defeated the Colts, so the Jaguars are capable of upsetting teams on occasion.

Jacksonville lost to the Detroit Lions on Sunday by a 34-16 score, and they were held to just three points in the first half. The top performer for the Jaguars was Keelan Cole who had six receptions on nine targets for 143 yards. The two Jacksonville touchdowns came off a rush by quarterback Gardner Minshew and a reception by James Robinson.

For the upcoming Week 7, the AFC South schedule features the Houston Texans hosting the Green Bay Packers, the Titans at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Jaguars at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Colts have a bye in Week 7.

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From the looks of this past week the AFC South is turning into a two-team show, and if the Texans want to be apart of that race they must win in Week 7. If they have a loss, the rest of the 2020 season should be used to see who can and can’t play for this franchise moving forward.