INDIANAPOLIS — A week after posting a couple impressive victories, the AFC South Division wasn't so fortunate in Week 3 action.
Well, except for the Indianapolis Colts, who were able to start fast and end strong in their 26-22 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
The three other divisional teams, meanwhile, fell flat during Week 3, starting with the Houston Texans, who were shut out, 27-0, on Thursday Night Football by a New England Patriots team using a rookie, third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett.
On Sunday, meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans fell 17-10 to the Oakland Raiders in Nashville, while the Jacksonville Jaguars — the Colts' opponent this Sunday in London — fell to 0-3 on the year with a 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
But perhaps the biggest loss for the AFC South was announced Wednesday, as three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt was placed on I.R. after re-aggravating a back injury. Whether or not Watt will return later in the season is unknown at this point, but it'll be interesting to see how the Texans' defense responds to such a huge loss.
With that being said, here's a comprehensive look around the AFC South action during Week 3 of the 2016 regular season:• New England Patriots 27, Houston Texans 0
The New England Patriots were down to their third string, rookie quarterback, in Jacoby Brissett.
Turns out it didn't matter at all.
The host Patriots were dominant on offense, defense and special teams, as they defeated the Texans, 27-0. It was the first time the Texans have been shutout since the 2003 season — and only the second time in their franchise history.
Offensively, Houston (2-1) was held in check, as quarterback Brock Osweiler completed 24-of-41 passes for 196 yards with no touchdowns to one interception. He was sacked twice. Lamar Miller, meanwhile, had a somewhat productive day running the ball with 21 carries for 80 yards, but was unable to find the end zone.
Defensively, the Texans certainly weren't the same unit they displayed in the first two weeks of the season, as the Patriots (3-0) were able to run all over them to the tune of 185 total rushing yards, including 105 yards and two touchdowns from running back LeGarrette Blount and another 48 yards and a touchdown from Brissett.
Brissett was efficient enough as a passer in his NFL starting debut, completing 11-of-19 passes for 103 yards, and he was sacked just once.
On special teams, the Texans made multiple mistakes, most notably losing fumbles on two kickoff returns.
One lone standout for Houston on the night was linebacker Benardrick McKinney, who had 16 total tackles and a sack.
The Texans will look to rebound on Sunday at home against the Titans in one of two AFC South matchups on the day.• Oakland Raiders 17, Tennessee Titans 10
A struggling Raiders defense was able to pick up the pieces Sunday in Nashville, forcing three turnovers in a 17-10 victory over the Titans.
"Struggling" might be an understatement; the Raiders had allowed more yards through their first two games than any other team in league history since at least 1940.
By halftime, the Titans had gained just 40 yards on offense and were trailing 17-3. But, much like they did a week prior, overcoming a 15-3 deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 16-15, Tennessee made a comeback.
It wouldn't be completed, however, as Andre Johnson was called for offensive pass interference on a potential game-tying touchdown late in the game, and Oakland (2-1) escaped with the victory.
Marcus Mariota completed 17-of-33 passes for 214 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. DeMarco Murray shined, however, running the ball 16 times for 114 yards — and average of 7.1 yards per carry — and a touchdown.
The Titans (1-2) were led by Avery Williamson, who had nine total tackles and an interception.
Tennessee travels to take on Houston on Sunday.• Baltimore Ravens 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
The Jaguars had plenty of chances to run away with their matchup on Sunday at home against the Ravens.
But the mixture of getting just three points off fourth-quarter turnovers, Blake Bortles throwing two late interceptions in Ravens territory and a blocked field goal were the difference in Jacksonville's 19-17 loss.
In the end, it took a Justin Tucker field goal from 54 yards out with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter for the Ravens to escape with the win. Tucker hit four field goals on the day.
The game certainly didn't start out promising for the Jaguars, as Bortles threw a first-quarter interception to Ravens C.J. Mosley — Bortles' third straight game with a first-quarter pick — that Baltimore (3-0) was able to turn into a field goal and a 10-0 lead.
But two touchdown passes from Bortles to Allen Robinson — one each in the second and third quarters — would get the home team back into the game.
Bortles finished with 194 yards on 24-of-38 passing with two touchdowns to three interceptions. The Jaguars were held in check on the ground, as they had just 48 yards rushing on 21 attempts, an average of 2.3 yards per carry.
Robinson led the Jaguars (0-3) with seven receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Linebacker Paul Posluszny (12 tackles, interception) and Johnathan Cyprien (10 tackles) led the Jacksonville defense, while Tashaun Gipson also recorded a pick for the Jaguars, who take on the Colts on Sunday morning at Wembley Stadium in London.