Lingering questions for Week 8

Lingering questions…

Can the Jaguars play another defensive game like the last one? I doubt it. Houston’s far more skilled on offense than Baltimore and they can’t be surprised the way the Ravens might have been because they’ve had that tape to study. One important factor in defending the Texans: You cannot over-pursue. There is a cutback, or even a throw back like last week against Tennessee, coming. If they burn you with it they find easy yards. Arian Foster is very dangerous.


Can the Texans continue to find enough in the pass game without Andre Johnson? I suspect so. They’ve done a good job supplementing receivers with tight ends and Foster, and all their skill guys are threats with the ball. Matt Schaub will throw to any of them at any time. It might be a less dynamic downfield group, but it can hurt you. If Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox cover as well as they did last week, we’ll be seeing how Jacksonville’s linebackers and safeties do against other options.


Can the Colts spring an upset? It’s possible. They know a division rival well, even after changes. It’s a big test for how a coaching staff and a veteran core have held together after a rout dropped them to 0-7. But if they can get an early lead of even hang around for a while, it’s the Titans who will be feeling the pressure. There are no external expectations on Indy, which will allow for a looseness. The Titans are expected to coast, so if they aren’t coasting, they could start questioning themselves.


Can the Titans get Chris Johnson going? If not now, when? The Colts have had all kinds of trouble stopping skill people. Johnson and his blockers have been studying that all week. It’s now or never, because if they can’t get him the required carries for an assessment or if he gets those carries and does do much with them, Mike Munchak is going to have to make changes -- to Johnson's playing time or the offensive line or both -- or will risk being labeled a loyalist like Jeff Fisher.