Week 7 AFC South Roundup: Colts Expand Division Lead


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee dropped another game behind division-leading Indianapolis in Week 7 with Indy remaining unbeaten since starting the season 0-2.

Here's a rundown of how all of the Titans' division rivals fared this past week.


Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

The Colts remain the NFL's hottest team after recording their fifth consecutive win with a 27-0 dismantling of the Cincinnati Bengals. It's not often that anyone in Indianapolis outshines Andrew Luck, but the Colts defense completely dominated Andy Dalton and the Bengals defense.

Cincinnati went three-and-out on its first eight drives of the game while going 0-for-8 on third down in the first half. The Bengals finished just 1-of-13 on third down and only just 135 total yards in the game. Those anemic offensive numbers are an aberration in today's high-scoring NFL.

Alternatively, Andrew Luck and the Colts offense posted a whopping 506 yards with Luck throwing for 344 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. T.Y. Hilton led the Colts with 107 receiving yards on seven receptions. The performance marked Hilton's third 100-plus yard receiving game in the last four weeks.

Dwayne Allen caught his fifth touchdown in seven weeks against the Bengals with Ahmad Bradshaw catching Luck's other touchdown pass. Bradshaw also ran for his first touchdown of the season and now has seven total touchdowns in 2014.

Trent Richardson led the Colts with 77 rushing yards on 14 carries. The 5.5 yards per carry average was Richardson's first career game over five yards per carry.

One negative for Indianapolis was Reggie Wayne suffering an elbow injury, however the Colts don't believe the injury is serious and shouldn't keep him out more than a couple of games.

Week 7 Star: The Entire Colts Defense

Andy Dalton may not be Peyton Manning and the Bengals might have been missing A.J. Green, but 135 yards of total offense is no joke. The Colts held all-purpose dynamo Giovanni Bernard to 16 total yards (17 rushing, -1 receiving).

The Indy defense hit Andy Dalton a total of nine times in its dominant performance from start to finish.

Week 8 Matchup: at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) – 3:25 p.m. CT

The Steelers are coming off a prime time win against the Houston Texans and will try to end the Colts' five-game winning streak.


Houston Texans (3-4)

For what began as a sterling performance for Houston, the end of the second quarter turned into a historic meltdown that led to a 30-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Down 13-0, the Steelers kicked a field goal to get on the board at 13-3. A three-and-out, an Arian Foster fumble and a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception led to three straight Steelers touchdowns in the final 1:27 of the second quarter, giving Pittsburgh a 24-13 lead at halftime.

Le'Veon Bell torched the Texans, particularly in the passing game with eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Bell also ran for 57 yards on 12 carries. Stud Steelers receiver Antonio Brown led the team with 90 receiving yards on nine catches and also threw a touchdown in the second quarter to Lance Moore.

The Texans held the Steelers to just two fourth quarter field goals the rest of the way, but couldn't overcome the halftime deficit.

Ryan Fitzpatrick finished with 262 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. DeAndre Hopkins led the Texans with 108 receiving yards, but lost a costly fumble in the fourth quarter when Houston was down just eight points.

Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards, passing Steve Largent for 14th on the NFL's all-time receiving yard list.

J.J. Watt had a big first half with a sack and fumble recovery, but was held relatively in check over the final two quarters. The performance did mark Watt's third game this season with both a sack and a fumble recovery, the only player to do so in the NFL this season.

Week 7 Star: Arian Foster – RB

Despite a lost fumble in the second quarter, Foster continues to lead the Texans offense. Houston's star running back rushed for 102 yards and caught a touchdown. Foster now has five 100-yard rushing games this season, including three straight.

Week 8 Matchup: at Tennessee Titans (2-5) – 12:00 p.m. CT

Two division rivals square off at LP Field with both teams desperate for a win. Sounds like fun to me.


Jacksonville Jaguars: (1-6)

The Jaguars had been getting closer to their first win of the season and they finally got it on Sunday, beating the Cleveland Browns handily at home 24-6.

Jacksonville did it with little help from Blake Bortles and the passing game. Bortles did get his first career NFL win, but threw for only 159 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the process. His lone TD came on a 31-yard pass to fellow rookie Allen Robinson.

The Jags defense held Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer to just 16-of-41 passing for 215 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Hoyer was also sacked three times and hit a total of seven times.

Paul Posluszny led the unit again with 12 total tackles and a sack, but will miss the remainder of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The loss is huge for the Jaguars as their star linebacker has led the team in tackles in each season in Jacksonville.

Week 7 Star: Denard Robinson – RB

After searching for a running game for six weeks, Robinson finally broke through as the Jaguars first running back to run for more than 50 yards in a game this season. Robinson easily cleared that marker with 127 rushing yards on 22 carries and his first career touchdown. He'll get the first chance to be the Jaguars lead back going forward just a week after Storm Johnson was announced as the team's starter.

Week 8 Matchup: vs. Miami Dolphins (3-3) – 12:00 p.m. CT

The Jaguars remain at home and will go for their second straight win against Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins.

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