Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/4/12

Breast Cancer Awareness

As the NFL adopts pink everything, from pink coins used for the coin toss, to pink equipment, I inquire you to take a moment and consider the importance of breast cancer awareness.

It has less to do with pink equipment, and more to do with encouraging women 40 and older to have an annual mammogram.

Don’t let the month of excessively-pink fields, and equipment go to waste. Get a mammy! (Unless you are a man, then take a woman to get a mammy!)

Chuck Pagano Unlikely To Return In 2012

Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia.

A number of reports state that Pagano will miss just six to eight weeks, while others have stated that Pagano will not return this season. Speculation has played a large part in this varied array of predictions. The amount of time Pagano misses is irrelevant.

The more important thing is that Pagano has a positive mindset, and is driven to overcome this sickness. We all wish him the best.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will take over head coaching duties for the ball club. Arians has been adamant in saying that his players absolutely cannot get caught up in their emotions. It will be interesting to see how the team takes the field on Sunday. Will we see an emotional performance, or will Arians be successful in keeping the team focused on the task at hand?

Monday Night Football: Texans @ Jets

The 4-0 Houston Texans take on the 2-2 New York Jets on Monday Night Football. The Texans, who have quickly embraced a powerhouse role, look to expose the Jets’ defense. A bad Jets’ defense.

The New York Jets have not been particularly strong in any phase of the game. They are allowing 4.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Opposing teams have been quick to take advantage of the Jets' defense. The Jets’ defense ranks 30 in the league with 141 carries against them.

Arian Foster and Ben Tate are sitting back somewhere in Houston watching game film, drooling, at this very moment. Houston has rushed the ball a league-high 148 times. Statistically, there is little to say about this one. The bottom line – Texans look to have a significant advantage across the board.

This Monday Night Football game is an open-invitation coming out party for the Texans. If you want to see what the hype is all about, this is your chance.  

Colts vs. Packers

The Colts’ bye week came at a good time, as several key players were in the process of recovering from injuries. Three starting linebackers – Dwight Freeney, Pat Angerer, and Robert Mathis – have been featured on the team’s injury report.

These three can be expected to start on Sunday. Angerer was upgraded to limited participation, while Freeney and Mathis have been bumped up to full participation.

Cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Justin King did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. The defense has not been at full strength all year. If they can manage to get healthy, and stay healthy for four quarters, the Colts will have a good shot against the Packers.

Many still think of MVP Aaron Rodgers, and the high-caliber offense that haunted the entire league last year. The Pack has lacked that offensive spark that they possessed just one year ago.

The Packers’ offense has passed the ball for 997 yards this season, averaging 5.8 yards per pass attempt. The Colts’ offense has passed the ball for 800 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per pass attempt. These two offenses are much more comparable than many think.

The ground game has gained the Colts 271 yards on 3.7 yards per attempt. The Packers have moved the ball for 337 yards on 3.8 yards per attempt.

The Packers’ have an edge on defense that will ultimately decide the game. The Packer defense is ranked 9th overall in total points and yards. The Colt defense is ranked 24 in points and 18 in yards allowed.

Jaguars vs. Bears

The Jaguars play their second straight at home this week against the Chicago Bears. The Jaguars are looking to bounce back from a 27-10 loss against Cincinnati.

Chicago is coming off of a short week. They played the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Tony Romo was intercepted five times. The defense was dominant, and the Bears look red hot coming into Sunday’s meeting.  

The Jaguars rushed the ball for 69 yards last Sunday against the Bengals. Hard to imagine with Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield, but it doesn’t change the fact that the jaguars should not expect anything more against the Bears.

The Bears are ranked third in the league in rushing yards allowed, and they’ve allowed only one rushing touchdown. Essentially, Blaine Gabbert will need to get the ball moving through the air if the Jaguars hope to score against the Bears.

Thus far in 2012, Gabbert has been unable to establish a consistent passing game. His weekly passing yard totals: 242, 52, 148, and 143. I would argue that the only way the Jaguars can achieve an effective aerial attack, is by first establishing the run. Jones-Drew must be the focal point, and if he is not, the offense will continue to struggle.

Titans @ Minnesota

The Titans lost to the Texans 38-14 last week. This was their third blowout loss of the season. The loss of the game was overshadowed by the loss of quarterback Jake Locker. Locker will sit out the Minnesota game, and should be on a day-to-day basis moving forward.

Matt Hasselbeck will get the start on Sunday. He has played in two games already this season, with 36 pass attempts behind him.  This will be his first start, though.

The bright side for the Titans: Chris Johnson showed up against Houston. The Titans rushed for 158 yards against the Texans. I’m not sure what to think about Johnson at this point.

I’m not so sure that anyone knows what to think about this guy, but this week could be the final turning point. If he puts up two strong performances in a row, perhaps we can put some faith back into Johnson for the rest of the schedule.

In the meantime, Minnesota’s defense may have something to say about that.

They have allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season: Maurice Jones-Drew in Week 1. Over the last three games, they’ve spared a minuscule total of 228 rushing yards.

This game has potential to go down to the wire. The Vikings look to stretch their lead in the NFC North as far as they possibly can. The Titans look to build on a strong running performance, and the wow factor that Matt Hasselbeck regularly brings to the table. (I hadn’t put quite enough sarcasm in this article; if you stuck around for that, then kudos to you!)

You can thank me later. 

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