Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/5/12
Indianapolis vs. MiamiFinal Score: Indianapolis wins 23-20.The Impact – The Colts advance to 5-3 on the season. They are now in great position amidst a division ridden with mediocre .500 teams. Andrew Luck broke the rookie record for single-game passing yardage.  Chuck Pagano was in attendance, and congratulated the team with a tear-jerking speech after the game. If I didn’t know any better I’d think it was straight out of a movie. It was great to see Pagano back, and we all continue to pull for Chuck as he undergoes a second round of chemotherapy.The NumbersAndrew Luck went 30/48 with 433 yards and two touchdowns on the day. His 433 yards were the most in a single game by any rookie quarterback, ever. They were also more than any other quarterback that played on this Sunday. Luck completed 62 percent of his passes en route to a 105.6 rating.T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery each surpassed 100 yards receiving on the day. Hilton reeled in six receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown. Avery gained 108 yards on five receptions. Reggie Wayne, not to be outdone by the young guns, led the team in receptions with 7. Other than Coby Fleener, who was out with an injury, pretty much every player on Indy’s roster got a reception of some kind. Luck was very generous on Sunday.Another solid day for the Colts’ stable of running backs. Vick Ballard carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards – 3.75 yards per attempt. Delone Carter added 8 carries for 31 yards – 3.88 yards per attempt. These numbers are not ground-breaking by any stretch, but considering the strength of the Dolphin defense (allowed only 3.5 YPA this season) and the fact that Luck was having a career day, the backs got the job done. Defensively, the team was still a little shaky. They were the closest to full health they have been in several weeks, but the secondary was still sub-par. Ryan Tannehill accumulated a relatively easy 290 yards on the day. Wide outs have been bullying the Colts’ cornerbacks all year; things did not look any different against the Dolphins. The defense did, however, hold the Dolphins (despite some slick runs from Reggie bush) to a team total of 84 rushing yards. The defensive line featured Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis … together … for the first time in a long time- a wonderful sight for Colts fans. Not so much for Tannehill though, as each of the two pass-rushers had 1 sack on the day.Houston vs. BuffaloFinal Score: Houston wins 21-9.The Impact – Houston moves to 7-1 on the season, and if the Colts look good in the AFC, the Texans look great. Teams that look good in the AFC, i.e. the Patriots, Broncos or Steelers, don’t even compare to the Texans right now. With 100 net points they are far beyond the bulk of the conference. Only New England and Denver are in the same ball park with 92, and 60, respectively. The fourth-best in the conference belongs to Sand Diego with just 28.The NumbersMatt Schaub completed 19 of his 27 passes for 268 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. The play action that Houston is working with is a thing of beauty. Seriously. On Schaub’s first touchdown pass, a 39-yarder to Owen Daniels, he rolled out of the pocket – newspaper in hands – removed the sports section, wrote a headline (about himself) and then threw to his wide open tight end. There is not another team in the league can execute the play action this well. It will be near impossible to stop so long as the run game remains in high-gear. The run game was certainly there today. Arian Foster rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown on 24 attempts.  Foster remains atop the league’s rushers with 10 touchdowns on the season. Foster’s rushing average remains just over 4 YPA. No problems here, Houston.The defense was equally impressive. They kept Buffalo out of the end zone, sparing only three field goals on the day. Buffalo converted just 2 of 11 third downs. On top of that, the dangerous duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller was held to only 60 yards. If you didn’t know, these two can be very explosive, but neither was able to get it going today. How about Whitney Mercilus?! Mercilus has lived up to his name in the last weeks, playing with no mercy. Mercilus had just three tackles and one sack coming into this game. One tackle, and his lone sack, came in week 7 against Baltimore. Today Mercilus cleaned up two tackles and forced a fumble on a strip-sack. Mercilus is well on his way to becoming a strong pass-rush linebacker.Jacksonville vs. DetroitFinal Score: Detroit wins 31-14.The Impact – Jacksonville falls to 1-7. They hope to find hope in the fact that Justin Blackmon might be making progress, despite doing so in what one might call “garbage time.” The defense gave up three rushing touchdowns, to one guy, in one quarter. Jacksonville is slipping, sliding, sinking, whatever you want to call it; they’re doing it. This team is nearly as bad as the Kansas City Chiefs – the team that many consider the worst since the ’08 Lions. On Sunday, the ’12 Lions did their best to put Jacksonville in that conversation.The NumbersBlaine Gabbert was decent on Sunday. He completed 27 of 38 on his way to 220 yards and two touchdowns. The stats for all Jaguars get an asterisk this week for *Garbage Time. He also threw two interceptions. Unfortunately for him, these get no asterisk. They were both thrown in the heat of battle.Justin Blackmon, welcome to the end zone. I couldn’t help but notice that he looked a little awkward after snagging his first touchdown reception.  The team wanted to celebrate, but Blackmon wanted no part of it. Perhaps he just has an uncanny awareness for the Jaguars’ current standing in the league. If only he had that awareness on the field all the time … O.k. seriously, that slant route was impressive. Hope to see more from Blackmon moving forward.Rashad Jennings has looked strong filling in for Pocket Hercules. This week was a different story. 12 rushes. 45 yards. Don’t forget about his receptions, though. He tacked on 7 yards with 3 catcharoos.The defense did what every defense has done this year. They managed to keep Matthew Stafford out of the end zone. They were not so successful in containing the Detroit running backs though. Joique Bell averaged 5.6 YPA, rushed for 73 yards and one touchdown. Mikel Leshoure stole the show with three rushing touchdowns.Tennessee vs. ChicagoFinal Score: Chicago wins 51-20The Impact – Tennessee moves to 3-6, but the biggest headline coming out of this story is that I made the mistake of thinking Tennessee had a chance in this game. The Chicago defense made sure that the Titans had absolutely 0 chance. The score was 28-2 in the first quarter. Things did not get any better from here.The NumbersMatt Hasselbeck somehow had a decent day. 20/35 for 194 yards, one touchdown and a pick. We have to give him credit for the fact that the interception was returned for a touchdown. At least he has a nose for the end zone.  Chris Johnson scored on an 80-yard play that lasted 11 seconds. A fast, meaningless 11 second drive it was. The Titans had no chance at this point, but hey, Johnson looked good doing it. He had 141 yards on the day. Just keep in mind that if it were not for the 80-yard sprint, he would have had just a 60-yard performance. The Bear defense was good.So good, in fact, that they caused six turnovers. Tennessee put the ball on the turf six times, but recovered two of their fumbles. That left the Bears with four fumbles to claim, along with two interceptions. The Titans missed the sign reading “don’t feed the Bears,” on their way into the stadium on Sunday.The Titan defense did score an early safety on Jay Cutler. He made sure to repay the Titans with three touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall. Matt Forte tacked on a rushing touchdown and 103 yards. Who expected such fireworks from the Bears’ offense? I expected much, much more from the Titan defense. I don’t believe that this will become the standard for the Titan defense. Look for them to bounce back.
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