Reading the coverage …
Writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle: “A victory over the Ravens, who lead the AFC North with a 3-1 record, would convince many in the Texans' loyal legion of fans that Sunday's stinker against Oakland was a mirage. It would show the NFL they were capable of flexing their muscles and finishing the toughest part of the schedule 4-2 and owning first place in the AFC South.”
My take: It’s always dangerous to think success in one setting can serve to erase a failure in another. A win in Baltimore would be gigantic, but it wouldn’t absolve the Texans for what happened against Oakland.
Jeffrey Martin of the Chronicle writes that Brooks Reed is trying to be smart about replacing Mario Williams. "I'm not saying I have to produce the same as Mario or I fail."
My take: Sounds like a smart approach. He’s a good player and I expect him to be productive. It’s just that he is unlikely to be Mario Williams-productive and I am not sure the Texans can withstand the drop-off.
Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus liked the offensive line's effort against the Chiefs.
My take: The question is, can it be duplicated? A banged up group that’s constantly being shuffled is going to have troubles with consistency.
Cathy Kightlinger of the Indianapolis Star says Gary Brackett is out for the season with a shoulder injury, but still heavily involved in community work.
My take: I’d expect nothing different from him.
Anthony Schoettle of the Indiana Business Journal says if the Colts can’t win at least three or four games this year, the heat might be too much for Jim Caldwell to handle.
My take: Certainly Caldwell’s status will be reviewed like everything else. And Chris Polian taking more power could be a factor in Caldwell’s future.
Mark Woods of the Times-Union liked the way the Jaguars responded to a big gaffe at the end of the loss to Cincinnati.
My take: People said the right things and that’s nice. But they need to do the right things so they don’t have to say the right things.
Tania Ganguli of the T-U looks at defensive end Jeremy Mincey. “Although the Jaguars have struggled to a 1-4 record, the defense clearly has improved. Mincey has been a bright spot and had one of his best games Sunday against the Bengals.”
My take: The guy can be electric. But the next step is a big one, and it’s to be consistently productive.
Ganguli writes that Matt Turk is out and Nick Harris is in as the Jaguars' punter.
My take: Turk was not the right guy when the team lost Adam Podlesh in free agency. Here’s hoping Harris is an upgrade.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean says Matt Hasselbeck will spend the time off for the bye week relaxing and spending time with his family. It’s his first real down time since he signed.
My take: He needs it at this point and has a long haul in line after the Titans get back to work.
David Boclair of The City Paper says Titans coaches will self-scout during the bye and focus in more on what identity their new systems give them.
My take: They need to hope there are some revelations that help them going forward, particularly with regard to the running game.
Tom Gower of Total Titans looks at Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins as they get increased opportunities in the receiver mix.
My take: Mike Munchak has said Williams needs to stop playing like a young guy. A lot of the Titans' potential for success rests with Williams and Hawkins being able to contribute.