Week 1 AFC Roundup: Titans, Texans Tied Atop Division

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It's obviously early, but there's good reason to be excited about the Tennessee Titans after their 26-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs to open the 2014 season.

It's hard to pick one star of the game with so many players delivering big performances. Defensively, Jason McCourty logged two interceptions and quarterback Jake Locker threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns without turning the ball over on offense.

Additionally, the Titans have opened as the favorites for their Week 2 home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Before Tony Romo and company come to LP Field, let's take a look at the Titans' three AFC South rivals – something I will do every Tuesday going forward.


Houston Texans (1-0)

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The Texans welcomed RGIII and the Washington Redskins to NRG Field in Week 1 and left with a 17-6 victory. Houston was the only other team in the division to win last week apart from Tennessee, and like the Titans, they did it with a dominant defensive performance.

Robert Griffin's 29-for-37 passing for 267 yards and a 96.7 rating is a bit deceiving as he was under siege all game long and never got comfortable in the pocket while being sacked three times.

On the other side, Ryan Fitzpatrick was an efficient 14-of-22 for 206 yards, one touchdown, zero picks and 109.3 rating. That one touchdown was a 76-yard catch and run from second year wide out DeAndre Hopkins.

The Texans second touchdown came from special teams. Rookie running back Alfred Blue blocked a Redskins punt and returned it five yards for the score.

The win didn't come without a price, however, as 2014 first-overall pick Jadeveon Clowney suffered a torn meniscus late in the first half. The Texans new defensive end underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Monday and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Even if the recovery lasts the full six weeks, that should have Clowney back on the field for Houston's first meeting with the Titans in Week 8 at LP Field.

Week 1 Star: J.J. Watt – DE

This won't be a surprise to anyone and he's likely to be a regular here week in and week out. The two-time reigning All-Pro became Houston's newest $100 million man last week and he rewarded the Texans with a monster Week 1 performance.

Watt filled the stat sheet with one sack, a fumble recovery, a tackle for loss and five quarterback hits. Watt also blocked the point after attempt following Washington's only touchdown in the game.

Week 2 Matchup: at Oakland Raiders (0-1) – 3:25 p.m. CT

Watt and the Texans will meet rookie quarterback Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders this Sunday from the Oakland Coliseum.


Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

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Week 1 was a tale of two halves for Jacksonville that landed about as opposite on the spectrum as possible. The Jaguars were the early Week 1 surprise, jumping out to a 14-0 first quarter lead against the reigning NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Those two quick touchdowns came from undrafted rookie receiver Allen Hurns. A 49-yard Josh Scobee field goal in the second quarter gave the Jags a commanding 17-0 lead going into halftime.

That's no typo. Jacksonville's revamped defense held Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and the high-powered Eagles offense scoreless through two quarters, forcing three turnovers along the way. The Jaguars sacked Foles five times on the day.

Chip Kelly returned his offense into 2013 form in the second half as the Eagles scored TDs on their first two possessions in the third quarter. Cody Parkey hit a 51-yard field goal on his first career attempt in the fourth quarter to tie it 17-17. Then Foles made a perfect deep throw to a wide-open Jeremy Maclin for a career-long 68-yard TD reception to put the Eagles ahead 24-17. They went on to win, 34-17.

Jags quarterback Chad Henne finished with 266 passing yards and two touchdowns.

The score line might not look glamorous at first glance, but the first half performance from the Jaguars speaks to how far second year head coach Gus Bradley has taken this team. Shutting out the Eagles offense for two quarters is no small task.

Week 1 Star: Allen Hurns – WR

As mentioned above, Hurns got the Jaguars off to an intrepid start with touchdown catches of 34 yards and 21 yards in the first 10 minutes of the game. With top receiver Cecil Shorts III inactive, the undrafted rookie stepped in and finished with four catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL game.

Week 2 Matchup: at Washington Redskins (0-1) – 12:00 p.m. CT

The Redskins get their second straight AFC South opponent in Week 2. Something's got to give with both teams winless after one week of play.


Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

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NBC's Sunday Night Football didn't disappoint Week 1 with one of the most anticipated matchups of the weekend. After spotting the Broncos a 24-0 lead in the first half, Andrew Luck led a comeback that's been seen several times already in his first two NFL seasons.

The Colts came all the way back within a touchdown at 31-24 with the ball at the 2:58 mark in the third quarter. The clock struck midnight on Luck's magic, however, as the quarterback's 4th-and-6 pass fell incomplete from the Broncos 39 yard line in Indy's last-ditch effort.

Luck finished the game with 370 passing yards and two touchdowns, but was also intercepted twice by the Broncos defense. The Colts QB also added 19 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Reggie Wayne made his return to the field after last season's ACL tear and paced Colts receivers with nine catches for 98 yards.

The Colts did receive some bad news Monday. Defensive end Robert Mathis tore his Achilles tendon while working out and will miss the remainder of the season. Mathis was currently serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy.

Week 1 Star: Andrew Luck – QB

Although it wasn't his most impressive statistical game, Luck continues to make the Colts one of the toughest teams to put away. There aren't many quarterbacks in the league who can go toe-to-toe with Peyton Manning and nearly erase a 24-0 deficit.

When the Titans play the Colts, it's important to remember that no lead is safe and letting up on the gas gives Andrew Luck the chance to do what he does best.

Week 2 Matchup: vs. Philadelphia Eagles – MNF 7:30 p.m. CT

The AFC South vs. NFC East matchups continue. The Colts will remain in prime time for their home opener on Monday Night Football. It should be another entertaining contest with plenty of points on both sides. Who doesn't love a shootout?

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