Reading the coverage ...
Throwback football personified by a bloody Brian Cushing has the Texans three games over .500 for the first time in franchise history, writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate have four 100-plus-yard efforts apiece this season, writes Dale Robertson of The Houston Chronicle. “And to think that just two years ago, before Tate had been drafted and while Foster was trying to shuck the anonymity of being an undrafted rookie free agent, the Texans didn't deliver a 100-yard afternoon until Foster broke through on the season's final Sunday.” It’s an incredible advantage and luxury to have two backs of such high quality.
Much-maligned cornerback Kareem Jackson may have played his best game for the Texans, writes McClain. I’m glad to see the progress, but need to see this caliber of play against a tougher opponent in a tighter game.
Richard Justice of the Chronicle can’t find much to nitpick about out of the win over the Browns.
Brooks Reed is picking up what the Texans lost when Mario Williams went down, says Jeffrey Martin of the Chronicle.
Shaun Cody picked off a two-point conversion pass, says the Chronicle staff.
The Colts were frustrated and baffled by another blowout loss, writes Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.
Bob Kravitz of the Star looks at the Colts’ competition with Miami for the No. 1 pick in the draft: “Remember the day when we watched the scoreboard to see how soon the Colts might clinch home-field advantage? Remember how we spent November preparing the annual rest-'em-or-play-'em debate? Now we're a city of Dolfans, checking our phones to get updates on the Miami game.”
Kelvin Hayden had a great day for the Falcons but feels for his old teammates, says Phillip B. Wilson.
Donald Brown got most of the carries after Delone Carter lost a fumble, says Chappell.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald says the Dolphins trading for Peyton Manning is an intriguing possibility.
Kravitz’s report card.
Nate Dunlevy of 18to88.com shreds Kravitz’s Sunday column in the Indianapolis Star that shredded Chris Polian.
Among the class of rookie quarterbacks, Blaine Gabbert’s been subpar, writes Tania Ganguli of the Times-Union. But anticipation, footwork and mechanics are coachable flaws, says one analyst. I think most of us understand the limitations he’s got with the Jaguars' offensive personnel. Still, we just want one big flash that shows off the promise.
The Titans botched the second half and lost to the Bengals Sunday, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. The vibe about the team that had gone from 3-1 to 4-4 has changed.
The Titans have a split personality that leaves David Climer of The Tennessean struggling to see them better than 8-8 at season’s end.
Chris Johnson had a solid first half, then disappeared, says Wyatt. Also covered in this notebook: Jared Cook’s fumble, Mike Munchak’s fourth-down decision, Damian Williams’ great catch and an injury rundown.
The offense found a groove in the first half, then was a second-half disaster, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.
Receiver A.J. Green was pretty special against the Titans, writes Glennon.
Wyatt’s report card.