It's good news/bad news for the Indianapolis Colts after week one of the 2012 season. The bad news is that they dropped a 41-21 decision to the Chicago Bears. The good news is that only one of their divisional rivals, the Houston Texans, scored a victory on Sunday.
Houston stumbled out of the gate against the Miami Dolphins, trailing 3-0 after the first quarter. Then Arian Foster got on track and the Texans never looked back, dominating the Dolphins 30-10. Foster would score twice and net 79 yards on 26 carries to lead the rushing attack.
Matt Schaub was back at quarterback after missing much of 2011 with a foot injury. So was WR Andre Johnson. The two hooked up eight times on the day for 116 of Schaub's 266 yards and the only touchdown through the air. Shayne Graham added three field goals for the final margin of victory.
Gary Kubiak can't be overly enthused about his running game, however, which only averaged 2.4 yards per carry. The Texans won mainly on the strength of four Miami turnovers, including three interceptions from former Texas A&M standout Ryan Tannehill making his first NFL start. Houston will open up divisional play next week in Jacksonville.
The Jags nearly got off to a 1-0 start, but couldn't hold off the Minnesota Vikings, dropping a 26-23 decision in overtime. Maurice Jones-Drew and his newly minted contract was only supposed to see spot duty, but when starter Rashad Jennings went down with an injury, MJD carried 19 times for 77 yards.
Blaine Gabbert was the story for Jacksonville, looking much improved after a lackluster rookie season. Gabbert completed 23 of 39 passes for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He did not throw an interception. New target Laurent Robinson caught five of those passes while rookie first rounder Justin Blackmon brought in three balls for 24 yards.
Gabbert seemingly gave the Jags the win when he found Cecil Shorts in the end zone with only 20 seconds left to play. The Vikings were able to get into field goal range, however and tie the game, sending it to overtime. Minnesota kicked a field goal on the opening possession of overtime, but with the new overtime rules, Jacksonville was given an opportunity to match or beat that score. Gabbert couldn't sustain a drive, however, and the Vikings took home a 26-23 win. The Jags will host Houston next week.
The Tennessee Titans got down early to defending AFC champion New England and never threatened as the Patriots pulled away to a 34-13 win in Nashville. Jake Locker made the season-opening start for the Titans. He completed 23 of 32 passes for 229 yards, a touchdown and an interception before leaving with a shoulder injury. It was Locker's fumble deep in his own end, however, that broke the game open for the Patriots at the beginning of the second quarter. Rookie Dont'a Hightower picked it up and rumbled six yards to put the Pats up 14-3.
New England did pretty much whatever they wanted against the Titans' defense. Tom Brady was his typical workman-like self, completing almost 75 per cent of his passes. The Patriots also averaged over five yards per carry on the ground and piled up nearly 400 yards of offense.
Titans' RB Chris Johnson wanted to start 2012 with a bang, but was held to only 4 yards on 11 carries. On the day, Tennessee was outgained 162 to 20 yards on the ground. Tennessee will travel to San Diego next week and try to right the ship.
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