1. Houston Texans Take On Old Adversary
Houston (2-0) is one of only six remaining unbeaten teams.
The Texans handily defeated the Miami Dolphins (1-1) in week 1, and the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) in week 2. They will now square off against their first opponent featured in the playoffs one year ago: the Denver Broncos (1-1).
That Denver team from a year ago was quarterbacked by Tim Tebow. This year, they are quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. Over the course of his career Manning has thrown for 5122 yards on the way to a 16-2 record against the Texans. This 18-game stretch often included games in which the Houston Texans were measuring their own progress. This time around, it could be Manning, and the Broncos that need to figure out their own progress.
This meeting will be the first in which the Texans boast a league-leading defense. The Texans’ defense has given up 17 points, and 392 yards of total offense, both league bests.
Denver has scored 52 points, while accumulating 670 yards of total offense, ranking in at No. 12, and 20 in the league, respectively. The Texans? 57 points, with 748 yards of total offense. Both ranked top-ten in the league.
The Denver defense has allowed 46 points, and 559 yards of offense. No. 16 and 8 league ranks, respectively.
Don’t forget to consider the teams that Denver has played: Pittsburgh (1-1), and Atlanta (2-0).
While it is hard to say that one of these teams is superior to another, one thing is not so hard to decide:
The matchup between Manning and the Texans will be among the best of week 3.
The Texans will face their first formidable opponents, while the Broncos look to prove that they are a serious contender in the AFC.
2. Indianapolis Colts Set To Induct Edgerrin James Into Ring Of Honor.
Edgerrin James will be inducted to the Colts’ Ring of Honor during Sunday’s game against division rival Jacksonville.
James was selected by the Colts with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1999 draft.
James rushed for 3,262 yards in his first two seasons. James’ freshman and sophomore seasons were truly great; this greatness was evident when James was forced to exit the 2001 season due to a knee injury. James started only six games in 2001, and the team suffered, going 3-7 in his absence and missing a playoff spot.
“Edge” as James became known, left the team in 2005, one year before the Colts won Super Bowl XLI. He was not left out of the Colts’ thoughts though, as he received a shining championship ring in the mail.
James carried the ball 2,188 times (franchise record) as an Indianapolis Colt for 9,226 yards.
The Colts have begun a new era in Indianapolis, this week though, they will remember one of the biggest parts of the last era: Edgerrin James.
3. Jacksonville Travels To Indianapolis
The Jaguars lost their first two games. Week 1, in an overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings (1-1) and week 2 against division rival Houston. Minnesota sent the Jaguars home by way of a last-second field goal. The Texans held the Jaguars to only 7 points, winning by a margin of 20.
Maurice Jones-Drew, facing limited carries due to a pre-season hold out, has carried the ball 31 times in two games. 11 less than his total from one year ago. Look for Jones-Drew’s workload to increase as he becomes more comfortable on the field. Jones-Drew will also play against the No. 26 ranked defense in Indianapolis, quite the change in pace from the No. 1 defense he faced in Houston.
Blaine Gabbert was limited during practice this week due to a hamstring injury. Gabbert is expected to start against the Colts.
Getting a win this week is critical for the Jaguars’ season. They will not have another favorable match up until week 7 against the Oakland Raiders. The Jaguars will host the Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) and the Chicago Bears (1-1) in weeks 4 and 5 (Week 6 bye).
If the Jaguars even want to remain in the conversation of AFC South contenders, they will need to overcome the Colts on Sunday.
4. Tennessee Plays In Must-Win Against Detroit
Tennessee is in a position very similar to Jacksonville. They have lost their first two games, both in blowout fashion. The Patriots defeated the Titans by a final score of 34-13, and the Chargers defeated the Titans by a score of 38-10.
The Titans offense has been atrocious to this point. Strangely enough, this was a season with high expectations from fans. The Titans have struggled to move the ball, averaging only 5.8 net yards per pass attempt, and 2.2 yards per rushing attempt. It has been painful for fans (and fantasy owners) to watch Chris Johnson struggle on the field. He has carried the ball 19 times for a total of 21 yards. That is bad, bad news. Jake locker has out-rushed Johnson with 32 yards of his own.
The Titans would love a win against the Detroit Lions (1-1). They will play the Houston Texans next week, at Houston, tough place to realistically expect a win.
If the Titans are unable to upset the Lions this week, 0-4 becomes a serious reality.
5. Indianapolis Facing First Blackout Of Season
The NFL changed its policies regarding blackouts over the offseason. The new rules state that as long as 85 percent of tickets are sold, the game may be televised locally.
The Indianapolis Colts opted out of these rule changes. Owner Jim Irsay tossed around the idea of local television blackouts if tickets sales were inadequate prior to the start of the season. Some questioned the sincerity of Irsay’s threat, in hopes that it was simply a hard PR move.
It appears this is not the case. Blackouts are looming over the Jacksonville @ Indianapolis game this weekend.
This weekend’s game against Jacksonville is roughly 500 seats short of selling out. The team stands firm that if these tickets remain unsold, the game will not be televised locally.
The Andrew Luck era began with excitement in Indianapolis, but that might soon change if games are blacked out. It will not take fans long to forget about a team they are unable to watch.