NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three out of the four teams in the AFC South lost on Sunday with the Texans being the only winners of the group. The Titans are exactly halfway through their 16-game slate and their 2-6 record has them three games back of the first place Indianapolis Colts.
Here's a detailed layout of how Tennessee's division rivals fared in Week 8.
Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
If you're a fan of defensive struggles, this game would have been unbearable for you to watch as the Steelers ended the Colts' five-game winning streak with a 51-34 victory at Heinz Field.
There's not a proper word to describe just how dominant the Steelers' offense was against a Colts defense that entered the game as the NFL's top-ranked pass defense. Yes, stud corner Vontae Davis left the game early with a knee injury, but the rout was on long before that.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 40 of his 49 pass attempts for a whopping 522 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions and a rating of 150.6. Antonio Brown led Steelers pass catchers with 10 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Timeless tight end Heath Miller had his best game of the season with seven receptions for 112 yards and a score. Martavis Bryant (x2) and Marcus Wheaton caught the other three touchdowns from Big Ben.
The fact that Indianapolis was in the game at all is a testament to just how good Andrew Luck is. Down 28-10 at one point, Luck led the Colts back to within eight points at 42-34. The Colts QB finished with 400 yards and three touchdowns, but did have two interceptions.
Both T.Y. Hilton and rookie Donte Moncrief posted over 100 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Trent Richardson was active, but a hamstring injury kept him on the sidelines. Ahmad Bradshaw finished with just 35 yards as the Steelers held the Colts to just 10 rushing attempts on the day.
Star of the Game: Andrew Luck – QB
Luck's 2,731 passing yards are nearly 300 more than every other NFL quarterback (Roethlisberger 2nd with 2,380). His 22 passing touchdowns are tied with Peyton Manning for tops in the league. Luck is on pace for 5,462 passing yards, just 15 yards shy of Peyton Manning's record of 5,477 set last season.
Not breaking news, that dude is ridiculous.
Week 9 Matchup: New York Giants (3-4) – 7:30 p.m. CT – Monday Night Football
The Colts hit the road for the second consecutive week as they'll visit Eli Manning and the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. New York is coming off a bye week and will have had plenty of time to prepare for Luck.
Houston Texans (4-4)
The Texans got back to .500 after a comfortable 30-16 win at Tennessee. Houston surrendered an early field goal before rattling off 27 straight points on the road.
Arian Foster continued to carry the Texans offense, posting 173 total yards (151 rushing, 22 receiving) and three all-purpose touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). Foster averaged an impressive 7.6 yards per carry as he gashed Tennessee's defense all game long.
Houston's passing attack was modest, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for 227 yards and the lone touchdown to Foster. Fitzpatrick did avoid throwing an interception as Titans defenders couldn't secure the few passes they got their hands on. DeAndre Hopkins led Texans receivers with 95 yards on five catches.
J.J. Watt had two sacks, including a forced fumble of rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger. He also tipped a pass and nearly intercepted it himself. Watt's sack total is now at seven through eight games.
Star of the Game: Arian Foster – RB
Foster trails only Demarco Murray with his 766 rushing yards. The Texans star running back has recorded four straight 100-yard rushing games and has nine total touchdowns on the season.
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) – 12:00 p.m. CT
The Eagles lost just their second game of the season in Week 8 to the Arizona Cardinals. They'll look to get back to their winning ways in Houston next week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)
Jacksonville remains the only team behind the Titans in the AFC South after a 27-13 loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. This is a game in which stats appear deceiving until you look at the turnover numbers.
The Jaguars' improving defense held Ryan Tannehill to just 196 passing yards and one touchdown, but Jacksonville couldn't overcome a horrid performance from Blake Bortles. The rookie QB threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and also lost one fumble. A large portion of Bortles' 221 passing yards came in garbage time, including a 48-yard touchdown to Allen Robinson with 2:19 remaining in the game.
That said, Robinson is quietly having a nice rookie campaign with 453 yards and two touchdowns this season. He's topped 50 yards in six of the Jaguars last seven games.
Running back Denard Robinson continues to be a major bright spot for the Jaguars after posting his second straight 100-yard rushing game. Robinson finished with 108 yards on 18 carries, including a long of 41 yards. Even with opening day starter Toby Gerhart healthy again, the job is Robinson's to lose going forward.
Star of the Game: Denard Robinson – RB
In two games as the Jaguars' starting running back, Robinson has carried the ball 40 times for 235 yards (5.875 yard average) and one touchdown. After playing quarterback at Michigan, the converted ball carrier is showing real progress at his new position with runs of at least 20 yards in each of the past two games.
Week 9 Matchup: at Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) – 12:00 p.m. CT
The Bengals have been Jekyll and Hyde the past few weeks and are coming off a narrow 27-24 win against the Ravens. Jacksonville will hope to see the Hyde version of Cincinnati next Sunday.