AFC South Landscape

Deshawn Watson Benched

Rumours coming out of Houston are that quarterback Deshaun Watson could be benched for rookie Robert Cesario.

Following the Texans’ loss in overtime to the Browns, a source close to the team is quoted that head coach Jaden has grown increasingly frustrated with Watson’s carelessness with the ball in his hands.
Watson has thrown 11 interceptions in six games and only two touchdowns.

The three against the Browns were not his fault according to Jaden, who said in his post-match press conference that it was down to “bad luck” and defenders “capitalising on the tip drill.”
“We headed into overtime running the ball well and I went away from that, that’s on me.
“Chambers had the best game of his career and we should have kept the ball in his hands.
“Deshaun saw he had a guy open deep, took a shot and it gets deflected into the backs hands. That’s just bad luck.
“He won’t be benched. Not at all. He just signed a deal which shows how much faith we have in him.”
However, keen observers noticed that Cesario was with the first team as the franchise prepared for their next game against the Bears.
Cesario was a 6th round pick up for the Texans and was seen as nothing more as worst-case scenario replacement for Watson, who missed over half of last season due to injury.
Watson came out 45 minutes later and then took over from Cesario, leading the offence on a 12-play drive which culminated in a beautiful pass to Josh Reynolds.
Asked about Cesario’s involvement in training, Jaden said it was “just about getting the rookie some reps while Watson spent some extra time going over the tape.
“Deshaun knows this is his team. We are 5-1 and still in a great position to wrap up the AFC South over the next month.

“Deshaun has my full faith and I will not allow some deadbeat reporters who only know quarterback play via Madden to tell me how to do my job.”

Week 4 Recap

Deshaun Watson threw his first touchdown of the season in a closely fought game between the Texans and the Jaguars.

After seven interceptions in three games, Watson’s position as the stater was never in doubt but head coach Jaden was looking for No 4 to step up.

“We lost Drake for the season today so it was important Deshaun stepped up,” said Jaden.

“It was a tough win, the Jaguars always play us hard and with 20 seconds to go, Watson made a play that justified his new contract and why we rebuffed all talk of letting him go over the off-season.

“Losing Drake was a big blow but I know Chambers can make the jump as the starter. We will formulate a gameplan so he feels comfortable, as we ramp up his workload.”

For the Jags, the injuries continue to mount and head coach Griff is in desperate search of a starting running back after having to play full back Michael Roman for much of this game at HB.

“The injury bug has hit has hard,” said Griff. “We are 1-3 and we need to get healthy quick if we are to make the post-season.

“But I have faith in the rest of the team to not use these injuries as an excuse to phone it in the rest of the season.”

The Colts moved to 2-2 with a 20-17 win over the Lions.

Blake Bortles leant heavily on tight end Eric Ebron and rookie Benard Daniels for most of the match.

“This is why we brought him in,” said Colts head coach Mikey. “To move the ball when our running game isn’t at its best.

“I’m loving where we are at the moment and the only way is up.

“It’s important for us to win these out of division matches, it gives us the confidence and shows the rest of the NFL that we aren’t pushovers.

“The previous regime built a great culture here in Indy and I’m just taking it to the next level.”

Week 5 Preview

The Titans come off their early bye to take on the Chiefs, with head coach Andre pleased to be back on the field.

“After our gut-wrenching loss against the Texans, the bye was the worst thing for us as we wanted to play a game straight away.

“However, we used the two weeks to get fit, work on some things and we feel we have the players in the building to win the AFC South.”

The Texans look to continue their 100% start to the season when they face the Colts, while the Jaguars are hoping to get their season back on track against the Bills.

“Our season isn’t over. We are only a couple of games off the Titans and Colts and we’ve shown in the past we can but together a good run. That is the aim going forward.”

Week 2 Review

The Jaguars overcame the John Ross Bengals 34-24 to get their first win of the season.

Leonard Fournette carried the team on his shoulders with 24 rushes for 240 yards and 3 TDs.

Head coach Griff was seen punching the air in delight after the game, as the Jags look to put pressure on the Texans while getting the head to head advantage over Cinci when it comes to the play-off picture.

“We knew they couldn’t stop the run so we made sure to get the ball to our backs as often as possible. It’s always nice to see a plan work,” said Griff.

The Colts and Titans played an entertaining game, where Blake Bortles’ four interceptions handed the Titans a 21-13 win.

Sources close to the Titans front office noted how head coach Andre was left confused seeing Bortles on the field and not Andrew Luck.

“Andre did everything in his power to move on from Luck when he was in charge of the Colts and couldn’t do it,” said an unnamed Titans coach who worked with Andre in Indy. “All of a sudden, this new guy gets it done instantly. Andre was displeased to say the least.”

The win moves the Titans to 1-1 and leaves the Colts 0-2, but with plenty left to play for, the Colts are refusing to panic according to a team source.

“We are refusing to panic,” said the source.

The Texans defence held the Patriots to six points allowing rookie Sealii Chambers to find the end zone twice in a 23-6 victory.

Minkah Fitzpatrick came up with another interception, while Xavier Rhodes, Tyrann Mathieu and Kamelei Correa all had picks themselves.

The win was marred by an injury to Shaq Lawson, who is believed to be on the sidelines for just over a month with suspected broken ribs.

“This is the type of game we want,” said head coach Jaden. “Force the opponents into passing situations where our DBs can come down with the ball, then score on short fields.

“Fair play to the Patriots, they got the ball out of the QBs hands quickly, negating our pass rush and on another day, they easily win this game. We have some things to work on.”

Week 3 Preview

The 0-2 Colts head to the 0-2 Jets in Week 3, knowing a win is a must or the possibility of reaching the play-offs become much harder.

Honest Jims has them favourites but head coach Michael is taking nothing for granted.

“This won’t be an easy game. It’s two wounded animals going all out for the win and it could come down to who protects the ball better.”

The Jaguars welcome the Broncos with Griff knowing it will be a tough battle.

“Rob has his Broncos playing hard and his defence are one of the best at forcing turnovers. Our run game could be the difference once again.”

The Titans, fresh off their win over the Colts, are on the road against the Texans.

Houston HC Jaden expects a tricky game against a side who almost ended their play-off dreams last season.

“We’ve faced Andre plenty of times over the past few seasons and he knows how we like to play. It’s crucial we mix things up and move the ball well on offence, we can’t get stuck on third and long and allow Butler, Jackson and Byard opportunities to pick us off.”

Week 2 Preview

Bengals v Jags

The key to this match is can Jalen Ramsey shut down John Ross.

Ross went off in week 1 and if the Jags can’t contain him and force Mahomes to look elsewhere, the Bengals will be confident they can get the dub and move to 2-0.

In a tough AFC South, the Jags won’t want to start the season 0-2 and fall behind the rest of the league.

Colts v Titans

Both teams will see this as a winnable game and will want to get the franchise off the mark.

Titans HC Andre will feel he has the edge with Luck being replaced by Bortles at the Colts.

However, the Colts will be wanting to announce themselves in the division with a statement win and beating your rivals heavily is the perfect way to do that.

Patriots v Texans

Marquise Flowers lines up against New England after being traded to Houston.

Expect him to have detailed what the Patriots want to do to his new teammates and this could prove to be the difference between the two teams.

Houston are buzzing after their win against the Vikings came down to the wire and will want to put some breathing room between them and the rest of the AFC South.

Week 1

Have the Texans wrapped up the South after Week 1?

The AFC South the past few seasons has been settled by who comes out on top between the Texans and the Jaguars.

With the Texans picking up a narrow win over the Vikings, bookies are already making the reigning division winners the favourite.

This could all change with the defending AFC East champions up next for Jaden, but the manner in which they overcome the Snatcher of Chains has the HC in Houston positive.

“The new guys stepped up and made a difference. We were sloppy passing the ball so having Drake and Chambers pound the pigskin proved to be the difference.

“Watson is coming off an injury so will be a bit rusty, that’s what those interceptions were, rust.”

“Minkah has been a target since I came into the league and while he was beaten for their second TD, he ultimately secured the game-winning interception.

“The Patriots will be a tough ask but we will go over the tape, see what we did well, what we need to work on and how we can attack the weak points of this New England team.”

With rumours that one HC in the division is considering his future at the franchise and that, in turn, it is affecting the team on the field, the race for the division is all but a three-horse race.

The Titans ran the Texans hard in a narrow loss towards the back end of last season and with the Colts beating the Jags early on in Season 2, both those franchises will know they have what it takes to cause an upset in the division and make a race for the AFC South title.

One source from inside the Colts said that last season’s win over the Jaguars was the turning point and with Bortles in the building, he can be a difference maker.

“With Blake in the building, he can be a difference maker,” said the source.

Jaguars HC Griff is believed to be pleased with how his side played the back-to-back Super Bowl champs.

“Having Jimmy back is great. We kind of forgot we had him to be honest.

“The pick 6 was on him. He said he had a receiver wide open but pressed the wrong button, whatever that means.”