THE AFC SOUTH REPORT

Foles injury proves costly as AFC South gets off to mixed start

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A look at how Week 1 shaped up for the AFC South:

1.) Chargers 30 Colts 24

Jacoby Brissett is exactly what I thought he would be in his first game starting for the Colts. Nothing special, will not be asked to do too much, and it will be a wait and see situation as we go along in the season. Even though they lose the first game of the season to the Chargers, there were a few positive signs. First and foremost there was not a drop in production from TY Hilton. He had 8 catches for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was by far the most important thing to watch as a Texans fan from this game because TY has given the Texans fits over the past few years. My second and biggest observation is the running game looks very legitimate. Marlon Mack followed up his impressive year last season with a strong first game, piling up 174 yards on the ground on 25 carries. While they definitely do take a drop-offwithout Andrew Luck this season, I think there are a lot of things to be scared of about this team as a Texans fan.As for the Chargers, this is a very solid win to start the season. Offensively this team is a machine at times and I still thin that Phillip Rivers is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. They will be a very serious threat in the AFC this season.

2.) Chiefs 40 at Jaguars 26

I came into this season questioning who would be the second biggest threat to the Texans this season. Would it be the Colts or the Jaguars? Jacksonville finally has a quality quarterback who has shown consistency over the course of his career and has also proven to be a very clutch quarterback when it matters. The Nick Foles injury stinks for Jags fans. It just sucks. There's no other way to put it because the defense is back and healthy and there were high hopes that this team could get back to where they were two years ago. This is a big win for Texans fans, but it still stinks whenever a player gets hurt. If anybody was wondering if the Chiefs would take a step back after a masterful first year from Patrick Mahomes, those doubts should be tossed aside. This team is great and Mahomes is going to be something special to watch for years to come. My big key to watch in this game would be if the Jaguars front seven could fluster Mahomes. The answer was no, and Mahomes had just eight incomplete passes on the day. LeSean McCoy looks to be an excellent addition to the team, and it makes sense as he has played for Andy Reid when he was with the Eagles.

3.) Titans 43 at Browns 13


Tennessee I gave no shot to win the AFC South this year. I will not overreact to Sunday's win over the Browns, but there certainly were plenty of positive signs to look at if you are a Titans fan. Any time you put up 43 points that is something everybody is going to look at. With a new offensive coordinator, Marcus Mariotta looked more comfortable in play design and statistically he fired three touchdown passes, which is a category he had been lacking in for his entire career. My biggest problem with Tennesse is their lack of weapons and playmakers. Did Derrick Henry pile up a good chunk of rushing yards (84 plus a touchdown), Yes. But will we see this kind of effort from this team on a game to game basis? That is still left to be determined, and I am a doubter. I think the bigger story from this game is Cleveland. Under a new head coach (whom many people believed to be underqualified for the job to begin with) this team committed 15 penalties. Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions as well. The lesson to be learned from this game is let's pump the breaks on what we think we know. Tennesse may be better than we thought initially and the Browns may not be Super Bowl contenders or even playoff ready at this very moment. On paper this team is solid and flashy, but it takes a working system for success to occur.


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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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