State of the AFC South: Week 6

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NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans intercepts a pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Nissan Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The standings stayed the same after Week 5.  The Houston Texans were the only team to win last week, as they defeated the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.  The rest of the division struggled mightily.  The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t get healthy for their Thursday night matchup with New England.  The Tennessee Titans were stunned on the road by the Buffalo Bills, just a week after the thrilling win over Philadelphia.  Finally, the Jacksonville Jaguars were dominated in Kansas City by the Chiefs, as Blake Bortles turned the ball over five times.  Week 5 allowed the Texans to sneak back into the division race and proved the two favorites after Week 4 have some issues they need to deal with.

Current Standings

Tennessee Titans 3-2, 2-0 in division

Jacksonville Jaguars 3-2, 0-1 in division

Houston Texans 2-3, 1-1 in division

Indianapolis Colts 1-4, 0-1 in division

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

The Colts were missing a lot of key players last week in New England and still put up a fight in Foxborough.  Andrew Luck has looked like he can still be the franchise quarterback for this team after his injury.  He has also received some help from tight end Eric Ebron, which is necessary when his only other true weapon is T.Y. Hilton.

Indianapolis still has some injury concerns and the Jets are coming off a big win last week.  At home, I expect New York will take advantage of the struggling Colts and get back to .500, while the Colts fall to 1-5 and closer to a top five draft pick.

Prediction: Jets 31 Colts 18

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

The Texans have looked much better during their two game win streak.  This is the team that many experts were projecting to be a threat in the AFC.  Deandre Hopkins looks like the best receiver in football and Deshaun Watson seems to be settling in after his injury.  They get the Bills at home, which should be another win to get Houston back to .500.

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However, the Bills have already knocked off the Titans and Vikings this year when they were heavy underdogs.  Don’t sleep on the Bills, but Houston should be able to pull this one out at home and truly insert themselves into the playoff race.

Prediction: Texans 23 Bills 13

Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys

The Jaguars offense, especially their quarterback, looked terrible in rainy Kansas City last week.  Blake Bortles had a comedy of errors including a pick-six, a fumble, and an interception in the red zone off of his own teammate’s helmet.  This was against a very underwhelming Chiefs secondary.  The defense also gave up 30 points to Patrick Mahomes and company.  The Jaguars looked like anything but a Super Bowl contender last week.

The Cowboys came up just short in overtime against the Texans last week, and I anticipate they will fall short against the Jaguars at home.  Dallas will keep it close, but Jacksonville will bounce back in a dry AT&T Stadium Sunday and avoid a third loss in four weeks.

Prediction: Jaguars 17 Cowboys 13

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans

The Titans also looked like anything but a contender on Sunday.  Yet, the team almost pulled it out.  Had it not been for Nick Williams dropping a wide open touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota, the Titans would most likely be 4-1 right now.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that they now have only scored five offensive touchdowns in five games, with three of them coming in one game.  The Tennessee offense has had injuries, but they have seemed to regress from the exotic smashmouth system through five games.  Who knew it was possible?

The Ravens are in a similar situation.  They won a big game two weeks ago over the Steelers, then laid an egg against Cleveland.  However, Baltimore will bounce back in Nashville.  The Bills and Jaguars secondaries are the best the Titans have played this year, and they have scored zero touchdowns in those games.  The Ravens are right up there and they will limit the Tennessee passing game, not to zero touchdowns, but just one and win.

Prediction: Ravens 24 Titans 16


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