Just the Facts: AFC South

Scout.com's Ed Thompson provides you with the high-impact facts about the Week 1 performances by the teams in the AFC South and his picks for the "Player of the Game" for each team.


Last Week:  Defeated the Saints, 41-10
Next Opponent:  At Tennessee (1-0)

Offense:  Second-year running back Joseph Addai literally hit the ground running in his debut as the team's feature back. Addai averaged 5.1 yards per carry while posting 118 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 25 yards ... Wide receiver Reggie Wayne topped the 100-yard receiving mark with 7 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns ... Rookie offensive tackle Tony Ugoh was flagged twice, once for a false start and a second time for an offensive holding call that was declined. 

Defense:  The Colts defense looked faster and more physical in their opener than last season. They held the tandem of Reggie Bush and Deuce McAlister to 76 yards rushing and an average of 3.5 yards per carry, a huge improvement over the 5.33 yards per carry they yielded during the 2006 season ... The Colts converted a pair of interceptions into 10 points. Linebacker Freddy Keiaho's pick set up the offense for a field goal while safety Matt Giordano returned the other one 83 yards for a touchdown ... Cornerback Marlin Jackson led the team in tackles with 12 (8 solo) and forced a fumble ... Although he didn't get a sack, defensive end Dwight Freeney had a team-leading three quarterback hits ... The Colts were called for three offsides penalties (Keyunta Dawson, Robert Mathis, Darrell Reid) but only one was accepted.   

Special Teams: The much-maligned special teams coverage units held the Saints to just 16.0 yards per average on kickoff returns, but did allow one big punt return of 30 yards ... Second-year cornerback T.J. Rushing didn't get a chance to run back a kickoff in his debut since two were touchbacks and one was fielded by RB Luke Lawton, but he did average 9.7 yards on his three punt returns ... Out of Adam Vinatieri's eight kickoffs, four made it into the end zone and three resulted in touchbacks. He was also 2-2 on field goal attempts.

Player of the Game:  Quarterback Peyton Manning who tested the Saints secondary with deep passes, successfully completing passes of 27, 28, 39, 42, and 45 yards to three receivers (Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark), including three for touchdowns. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 288 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Talk About it:  In our Colts Fan Forum


Last Week:  Defeated the Jaguars, 13-10
Next Opponent:  Home against Indianapolis (1-0)

Offense:  Vince Young didn't do anything to reduce concerns over his development as a passing quarterback. He lofted a wobbly overthrown ball that was picked off by Rashean Mathis and he repeatedly threw passes short of his receivers or too low for them to catch on the move. He posted just 78 yards passing, including just 19 yards in the second half. That's not going to cut it next week with Indianapolis coming to town ... Other than a one-play possession to end the first half, the Titans offense moved the chains for first downs on all but two possessions ... Tennessee dominated the time of possession in the first and fourth quarters, holding the ball for 23 of the available 30 minutes.

RB Chris Brown
Mark Humphrey/AP

Defense:  How tough was Tennessee's rush defense against the Jaguars? Well, take away one Maurice Jones-Drew run of 23 yards and he would have finished the day with 9 yards of rushing on six attempts. And take away Fred Taylor's one run of 17 yards and he would have had -1 yard on five attempts. At the half, the Jaguars had just 6 yards on the ground ... Cornerback Cortland Finnegan got burned on a long touchdown pass in man coverage, but hung in there and registered a team-leading three passes defended and tacked on four tackles by the end of the day ... Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy were credited with the team's two sacks ... DT Albert Haynesworth was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty after ripping Jones-Drew across his body and head-first to the ground after his momentum had been stopped and whistles were blowing. 

Special Teams:  The team's all-time leading punter, Craig Hentrich, averaged just 30 yards per punt -- gross -- on three attempts ... Rob Bironas booted all four of his kickoffs into the Jaguars' end zone, including two touchbacks.

Player of the Game:  RB Chris Brown took full advantage of terrific blocking by his interior offensive line, rushing for 175 yards on 19 attempts (9.2 average) against a usually stout Jacksonville run defense. His accomplishment was even more impressive when comparing his results to the 3.7 yards per carry posted by second-year running back LenDale White during his 18 attempts. 

Talk About it:  In our Titans Fan Forum


Last Week:  Defeated the Chiefs, 20-3
Next Opponent:  At Carolina (1-0)

Offense:  RB Ahman Green averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his regular season debut for the Texans, posting 73 yards rushing and another 23 yards receiving ... Matt Schaub earned a QB rating of 101.5 in his first regular season game as a Texan, completing 16 of 22 passes for 225 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception ...  Houston converted an impressive 64 percent of their third-down opportunities ... Offensive linemen were repeatedly flagged during the game, including Chester Pitts and Fred Weary as ineligible receivers on a downfield pass (5 yards each), and Pitts and OT Ephraim Salaam were both called for holding (10 yards each). 

WR Andre Johnson
David J. Phillip/AP

Defense:  The Texans intercepted two passes (Travis Johnson, Dunta Robinson) in the closing minutes of each half  ... Houston held Kansas City to just 72 yards rushing, including just 43 yards on 10 carries for Larry Johnson ... The Chiefs were only able to mount drives of 20 yards or more twice out of nine offensive possessions ... Defensive end Mario Williams posted two sacks and three quarterback hits and finished tied for second in team tackles with 5 on the day. 

Special Teams: Punter Matt Turk  -- who was signed as an unrestricted free agent during the offseason -- should help the Texans in weekly field position battles. He averaged 55.0 yards per punt on three attempts with a net of 48.7 yards ... On the flip side, rookie Jacoby Jones got off to a slow start as the team's punt returner, averaging just 3.5 yards per return on four attempts ... LB DeMeco Ryans forced a fumble on punt coverage, which the offense converted into a field goal.

Player of the Game: Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who caught 7 passes for 142 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown reception. The rest of the Texans wide receivers and tight ends combined for just four catches during the game. 

Talk About it:  In our Texans Fan Forum


Last Week:  Lost to the Titans, 13-10
Next Opponent:  Home against Atlanta (0-1)

Offense:  Other than his 47-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver John Broussard, quarterback David Garrard looked pretty ordinary. He held the ball too long at times (not that his receivers were helping him much) and was at his best working the quick slant routes, exploiting weak spots in the middle of the Tennessee defense ... Tight end Marcedes Lewis accidentally kicked the ball out of the arm of Maurice Jones-Drew in the fourth quarter as the running back was being wrestled to the ground at the Tennessee 8-yard line early in the fourth quarter with the Jaguars trailing by just three points. Titans defensive back Chris Hope ended the scoring threat by falling on the loose ball. 

Safety Reggie Nelson
Al Messerschmidt/AP

Defense:  The Jaguars effectively bottled-up the fleet-footed Vince Young, limiting him to 22 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Credit middle linebacker Mike Peterson and cornerback Terry Cousin for each making a pair of stops on Young after he crossed the line of scrimmage, holding him to gains of six yards or less on the four plays ... Cornerback Rashean Mathis picked off a wobbly overthrow by Young that was converted into three points by the offense ... Defensive penalties included a pair of 15- yard facemask penalties by DT Marcus Stroud and CB Terry Cousin.

Special Teams:  During warmups, kicker Josh Scobee injured his quad and couldn't attempt a field goal longer than 25 yards. Punter Adam Podlesh handled the kickoffs ... Maurice Jones Drew was impressive on two returnable kickoffs, averaging 35.5 yards per attempt ... Rookie linebacker Justin Durant made two of the team's six special teams tackles.

Player of the Game:  Rookie safety and first-round draft pick Reggie Nelson finished second on the team in tackles (7) and forced a fumble while registering a sack in his NFL regular season debut.

Talk About it:  In our Jaguars Fan Forum


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