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AFC South Week in Review: Tennessee Titans Respond to Owner’s Ultimatum

November 13th, 2012 at 11:17 AM
By Chuck Chapman

Tennessee Titans' owner Bud Adams put his team on notice after their week 9 thrashing at the hands of the Chicago Bears. He wouldn't except such a shoddy effort and everyone from the head coach to the ticket takers had better shape up or heads would roll. It would appear the Titans players heard Adams loud and clear as they went to Miami and put their own hurting on the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins came in reeling a bit from a close loss the week before in Indianapolis, but were still viewed by and large as an inside favorite to get an AFC Wild Card slot. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, while lost a bit amid the accolades surrounding Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, was putting together his own pretty solid rookie campaign. Meanwhile the Dolphins' defense was among the league's best. That all changed Sunday against the Titans.

Tannehill, who hadn't thrown a pick since a week four loss in Arizona, put three passes in the hands of Titan defenders on Sunday, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Colin McCarthy. Reggie Bush also lost a fumble for Miami. It was that fumble on his own 28 that set up the Titans' first score of the day.

When the Dolphins offense wasn't giving the Titans opportunities, their defense was failing to stop RB Chris Johnson. Johnson gained 126 yards on 23 carries and became the first back in 23 games to top 100 yards against the Dolphins.

The Dolphins' generosity allowed Jake Locker to ease back into the driver's seat after missing several games due to injury. Locker completed a pedestrian 9 of 21 passes for only 122 yards, but held onto the football and threw for two scores. Tennessee is off this week, but returns with three straight AFC South games that will make or break their season.

The Houston Texans traveled to Chicago to take on the Bears on Sunday night. The weather made Soldier Field a swampy mess and the blustery, wet conditions made each team's passing game a non-factor. That was accentuated for the Bears when Jay Cutler couldn't answer the bell for the second half after sustaining a concussion.

By then, however, the Bears had committed four first-half turnovers and staked the Texans to a 10-3 halftime lead. That was all the Texans would need as the defense and the weather combined to shut down the Bears en route to a 13-6 victory. Arian Foster slogged for 102 yards and allowed the Titans to control the football as they are accustomed to doing.

The Bears couldn't muster much of a running attack against the Texans' defense, and when they did, they put the ball on the ground. On the evening, the Bears managed only eight first downs. 

The Texans' win put them at 8-1 and solidly in control not only of the AFC South, but the AFC. They return home this weekend to host Jacksonville before hitting the road for three straight weeks.

Tags: Football, Houston Texans, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, NFL, Tennessee Titans

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