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Thursday, November 26, 2009

AFC Wrap Up Week 11

  AFC Wrap Up Week 11
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer
Southeast Region
Tennessee 20 Houston 17
There are many people in the football world wondering what is going on in Nashville these days. The season started with six straight losses and the call from owner Bud Adams to start Vince Young. Ever since that Sunday against Jacksonville things have not been the same. Receivers are catching balls and the running game is on point. Against Houston, on Monday night, it was another homecoming for Young and he came to play. He did not have the spectacular numbers but accomplished more. He showed a command of the offense never seen before in him. You could see him going through his progressions as he hit the second or the third read. When he couldn’t pass he ran for 73 yards on 11 carries. Some of those were of the third down conversion variety and when he was throwing the football he did it smoothly and very effectively. The questions after his first game back were understandable and after the second game maybe. Now after four consecutive wins the Titans find themselves at 4-6 and only two games out of the wild card with six games to play. Chris Johnson continues to be off the charts as he racked up another 151 yards putting his season total to 1,242 yards rushing on the year. He is ahead of the pace set by Eric Dickerson when he set the NFL record with 2,105 yards. He had two marvelous runs and one in particular may be the highlight of the year. He took the handoff and went right when he was hit once and then a second time much harder. It should have put him on the turf but instead he kept his balance, spun away from the tackle and went for 36 yards. He has shown a strength that does not seem possible for his size. He is so elusive that teams are too tired by the time they figure him out. The defense still needs work as they allowed 305 yards passing to Matt Schaub but were able to sack him four times. Now another coach goes on the hot seat and this time it is Gary Kubiak. When he was hired he was supposed to bring this team to a playoff game but has yet to deliver. Now they are 5-5 and have these Titans in their rear view mirror. Back in Tennessee the thought of Young continuing to mature and the nuclear threat of Johnson has fans salivating at he mouth. If these two can continue to build a rapport and Young keeps maturing the combination could be almost unstoppable. So what was once a lost season in Nashville now becomes a battle cry. A cry to those who did not believe, to those that gave up and those that never tried. Now the locker room is full of confidence and fun. The game means something again and players, coaches and fans see a possible playoff birth with some luck. They must win out and hope that other teams fall too. This past weekend helped them when a slew of AFC teams lost to improve their odds of making the postseason. Now let see what they have left because if they can beat the Colts they have a good chance to finish with 10n straight wins. Now the season is in high gear folks.
Indianapolis 17 Baltimore 15
First off to the Ravens I say just put the ball in the end zone. Well they couldn’t and the Colts find themselves at 10-0 after just getting by in this one. The Ravens had a chance to get a touchdown on a first-and-goal from the one in the fourth quarter. Instead of the lead they had to settle for a field goal. The win was the 19th straight for the Colts, which puts them two away from the Pats NFL-record 21 straight. They won despite three turnovers and the inability to be as effective as usual on offense. The defense allowed the Ravens 354 total yards but got lucky when Baltimore had to settle for threes. They have won these past few weeks by the hair of their chinny chin chin and must get back to the drawing board on offense. Still they have Peyton Manning and he is like a human video game out on the field. Joseph Addai is doing his part, as are players like Pierre Garcon. It is still along road to the finish line but the Colts look to be on cruise control now. They will have to stay healthy and the young receivers must keep maturing. Most of all they will count on their leader Manning to take them to the promise land once again.
Jacksonville 18 Buffalo 15
The Jags have a way of letting a player shine every once in awhile and this time it was Terrell Owens. He got away on one for a 98-yards score and he finished the day with 197 yards on nine catches. Other than that it was just another blown chance for the Bills as they fell to 3-7 in season to forget. The Jags were not much better as David Garrard could not move the ball with any consistency. Maurice Jones-Drew never got on track but the Jags won their third straight game. The Owens catch made it 15-10 and it looked like the Bills might pull this one out. That’s when Garrard remembered he was here to win the game. He got the ball with just over six minutes left and drove his team down the field. He won it connecting with Mike Sims-Walker from three yards and then running in the two-point conversion himself. I still don’t know if all of this will be enough to save Jack Del Rio’s job. He too was brought to Florida to take the Jags to the next level and has failed. This is a as close to a do-or-die season as you can get and it looks like Del Rio may ended up on the unemployment line when it’s all said and done. What was supposed to be a sure second place has turned out to be harder than they thought. Now they have six games left to save their season and possibly their head coach’s job.


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