- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Don’t only blame the offense, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The Texans gave up 29 touchdown passes this season compared to 18 in 2011. And they’ve allowed 54 completions of 20 or more yards. Of the playoff teams, only New England (74) and Washington (58) allowed more.
To which I say: McClain says it’s been the safeties more than the corners. The only big difference has been at nickelback, where Brice McCain has been out. That should not make this much of a difference.
The offensive line’s drop-off has been one of the big issues slowing the Texans down, says Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.
Injuries have left the Texans with little depth at inside linebacker, say Ganguli and Robertson. Darryl Sharpton is on IR and Tim Dobbins may not be able to play.
Analysts have their doubts about the Texans, says David Barron of the Chronicle.
Dumb penalties are getting the Texans off their down-and-distance schedule, the tight ends need to do more and special teams need to avoid big mistakes, says Stephanie Stradley of the Chronicle blogs.
Andrew Luck is the only No. 1 overall pick to deliver his team to the postseason as a rookie, writes Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. “He understands the enormity of what's ahead, but plans on doing nothing more than what he did while prepping for his first 16 NFL games.”
The ancient grudge Baltimore has for the Colts still exists, writes Bob Kravitz of the Star. The Colts need to plant an early seed of doubt in the Ravens who struggled at the end of the season.
To which I say: I think the Ravens have to carry some degree of doubt whether the Colts do something early or not. We’ll find out how much of a bearing momentum has when the Ravens greet the hot Colts.
Reinforcements are arriving off the Colts injury list, says Phil Richards of the Star.
Vontae Davis won AFC defensive player of the week for his work against the Texans, says Richards.
The Colts have the potential to make this Ray Lewis’ last game.
Everything you need to know about the Colts-Ravens game from ESPN Stats and Info.
For the players and coaches, this week has nothing to do with the history between the teams, or the Irsays, or crab cakes, or moving trucks, says Marcus Dugan of Colts Authority.
With the future of Mike Mularkey and his staff up in the air, we don’t yet know if the Jaguars will coach the Senior Bowl, says Ryan O’Halloran.
To which I say: It’s nice for the staff to work with the kids for a week, but it won’t kill the franchise if it misses out.
Arizona executive Steve Keim is another candidate for Jaguars general manager, writes O’Halloran.
Matt Hasselbeck is OK with a backup role with the Titans going forward, says John Glennon of The Tennessean. “I feel good about the people we have here,” Hasselbeck said. “I feel good about the people in charge. I feel good about the plan.”
To which I say: He remains an excellent guy to have in the locker room. But when the backup quarterback is the offense’s best leaders, there is an issue.
Titans like Eddie George recall the pride and pain of facing Lewis, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.