A Look Around The AFC South: Week 5

Intro: Take a comprehensive look around the AFC South after the fifth week of action in the 2016 regular season.


INDIANAPOLIS — What a difference a week makes.

Last Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were unable to maintain any sort of momentum in a deflating loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. The subsequent 8 1/2-hour flight gave plenty of time for reflection.

But the Colts wanted to get right back on the field as soon as possible, and they were able to do just that, defeating the Chicago Bears, 29-23, on Sunday in Indianapolis, to move to 2-3.

With the Jaguars on their Bye Week during Week 5, the rest of the division split its action in Week 5. While the Titans played well all around in a 30-17 victory on the road against the Miami Dolphins, the Houston Texans fell flat against the league's top defense, losing to the Minnesota Vikings, 31-13.

Now, the Colts head to Houston on Sunday. A win for Indianapolis, and they sit atop the AFC South Division standings. Weird how those things work out, huh?

"Sunday night, division game, on the road. You know what kind of environment is down there: it's a hostile, hostile environment," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "(We're) playing a great football team and it's going to be a huge challenge. But that's where our total focus is, and we've got a chance to build some momentum, build off this last game — it was a great, great win, but we're done with that one and we're on to Houston."

With that being said, here's a comprehensive look around the AFC South action during Week 5 of the 2016 regular season:

• Tennessee Titans 30, Miami Dolphins 17
Marcus Mariota hadn't been playing his best football of late, throwing a combined three interceptions to no touchdown passes in Weeks 3 and 4.

On Sunday that all changed, however, as the second-year quarterback threw for three touchdowns and ran for another — his first rushing touchdown of the season — as the Tennessee Titans went on the road and defeated the Miami Dolphins, 30-17, to improve to 2-3 on the year.

In all, Mariota completed 20-of-29 passes for 163 yards, throwing touchdowns to Delanie Walker, Andrew Johnson and Rishard Matthews.

But perhaps the most impressive part of Sunday's game against the Dolphins for the Titans was their run game, led by DeMarco Murray, who had 121 yards on 27 carries. In all, Tennessee ran the ball 41 times for 235 yards (Murray 121 yards, Mariota 60 and Derrick Henry 54) for a 5.7 yards-per-carry average.

The Titans' defense, meanwhile, sacked Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill six times on Sunday, with two apiece coming from Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey, while Tennessee picked Tannehill off two times — plays by Jason McCourty and Daimion Stafford.

Tennessee looks to make it two in a row on Sunday, when they play host to the Cleveland Browns in Nashville.

• Minnesota Vikings 31, Houston Texans 13
One out of 13.

That was the Houston Texans' conversion rate on third downs during Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Accordingly, the league's top defense had little troubles against a struggling Houston offense, and Minnesota came out on top, 31-13, in Minneapolis.

That aforementioned Vikings defense made life miserable for Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, who completed just 19 of his 42 pass attempts for 184 yards with one touchdown and one interception apiece. Houston was also held to just 14 rushes for 59 yards.

The Vikings got up 24-0 until the 5:32 mark in the second quarter, when the Texans finally got on the board with a 38-yard field goal. Included in those first four scores for Minnesota were a 36-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Adam Thielen, as well as a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown by Marcus Sherels.

Houston wouldn't reach the end zone until the 3:46 mark in the fourth quarter, when Osweiler found DeAndre Hopkins — who was held without a catch in the first half — on a one-yard touchdown play.

The Texans' defense was led by Benardrick McKinney's 10 tackles. Jadeveon Clowney had four tackles for loss to go with his eight total tackles, while Whitney Mercilus had 1.5 sacks on the day.

The Texans (3-2) now play host to the Colts on Sunday; the winner claims the top spot in the AFC South Division.

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