Blog Entry

AFC South Break Down Against AFC West

Posted on: October 28, 2008 12:05 am
Edited on: October 28, 2008 6:50 pm

Overview.  The AFC South certainly looks to be as good as last year, but it’s not the Colts who are dominating this year it’s the Titans.  The Titans have an unblemished 7-0 record.  The Colts are four games back and need to make up a lot of ground with only a few weeks remaining.  The AFC South as a division is 16-12 and has scored 645 points with 585 point scored against them.  Surprisingly, the team in last place (Texans) has scored the most points in the AFC South.  However, the Texans defense has given up the most point leading to their poor record.  Conversely, the Titans are averaging 12 points a game by their defensive unit.

The AFC West is under performing as compared to this time a year ago.  The division’s record is 10-19 scoring a total of 603 point and giving up 764 points.  By comparison the Chief who are currently in last place are only three games back of the Broncos, which is the a better position than the Colts.  So it’s anybody’s division to win or loss at this point.

Top Performers.  Though Week 8 the two divisions have some high flyers.  The Chargers (3) and the Texans (10) lead their respective divisions with total number of points scored in the NFL.  The Broncos (2) and Texans (4) are in the top 10 for yards per game.  The Broncos, Chargers, Colts and Texans are in the top 10 for passing yards per game.  The Titan (3) and Raiders (7) are among the NFL in rushing yards per game.  Philip Rivers leads the NFL with an impressive QB rating of 107.8.  Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler are also in the top 10.  Rivers (3rd - 2,038 yards), Cutler (4th - 1,862 Yards), and Manning (9th - 1,740) are in the top 10 for total yards passing.  Rivers leads the NFL with 19 TDs, followed by Cutler (6th) totaling 13, then Manning and Schaub with 10.  Chris Johnson ranks 4th in rushing with 626 yards rushing followed by LaDainian Tomlinson who ranks 8th in the NFL with 551 yards rushing.  LenDale White leads the NFL with 10 rushing TD this season.   Andre Johnson leads the NFL with 772 yards receiving.  Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson are in the NFL’s top 10 as well.  Kevin Walter and Chris Chambers each have 5 TD and are in the NFL’s top 10.  The TE position is filled with quality players.  All four TE in the AFC West are ranked in the NFL’s top 10 for total yardage along with the Texans and Titans.  Antonio Gates leads the group with 5 TD and 403 yards followed by Tony Gonzalez who has 3 TD and 369 yards on the year. The Bronco Tight End tandem of Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler have combined for 4 TD and 479 total yards.  Dallas Clark  is in the top 10 for receiving yards and has 2 TD on the season.

Top to Bottom Analysis.  The AFC South certainly has the upper hand over the AFC West through Week 8.  Defensively the AFC South yields fewer points, and have out scored the AFC West.  The AFC South has run the ball better as referenced by the dynamic duo of Johnson and White.  The AFC West has two of the NFL’s leading passers with Rivers and Cutler while the AFC South’s Schaub and Johnson have been among the elite this year as well.  It’s no secret that playing from behind favors the passing game while playing from the lead favors the rushing game.  Top to bottom the AFC South has a better record and their last place teams would be second if they played in the AFC West.  Injuries have played a big part in both the AFC South and West’s performances.  Payton Manning got off to a slow start recovering from off season knee surgery.  Also, Joseph Addai has been out much of the season putting more pressure on the Colts.  The Broncos have been hit by the injury bug on both sides of the ball losing Boss Bailey, Champ Bailey, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Stokley, and Selvin Young.  The Titan lost Vince Young early in the season, but have maintained with Kerry Collins at the helm.  The Chiefs have been disseminated at QB, working with the third string QB now and without the service of Larry Johnson for past two games, maybe more.  The Chargers started the regular season banged up but seem to be on the mend offensively.  Defensively, the Chargers took a big hit when Shawne Merriman went out.

Outlook.  Barring injuries look for the Titan to keep a lock on the AFC South, while the reaming teams fight for a Wild Card spot.  Look for this division to mix it up going into the last half of the year.  In the AFC West it’s any ones division right now and too early to make projections.  However, my guess is that the Wild Card will not be coming from the AFC West this year.

Division Stats

                     Pts/G             Passing             Rushing

Broncos       24.7 (12th)       263 (3rd)             118 (13th)

Chargers      28.0 (3rd)         264 (7th)              97 (27th)

Raiders       15.3 (30th)        161 (29th)           129 (7th)

Chiefs         14.1 (31st)        163 (28th)           103 (20th)

Titans         24.8 (11th)         160 (30th)           154 (3rd)

Colts          21.3 (20th)         244 (9th)              70 (32nd)

Jaguars      20.1 (25th)         201 (20th)            116 (14th)

Texans       25.0 (10th)         253 (5th)             118 (11th)

Source 10/27/08.  Note some data from the MNF was not available at the time of this post and rankings are subject to change. 

What do all these stats mean?  Some times they can tell a story and some times they don’t.  Statistically, the Raiders and Chiefs are nearly dead last and their record reflects the story.  The Texans are statically better than anyone in their division but are in last place.


Since: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 7:04 pm

AFC South Break Down Against AFC West

ALL Day.  Good points.  I've like Fisher as a coach for some time.  He seems to get the best out players.  He had some set backs early with Young but handled it well.  He certainly has the team to beat this year.  I find it interesting that with a perfect season going the Titans are not getting much PR.  Not that they would want it but could you imagine where we would be if the Patriots were perfect. 

Houston on the other hand has had some close game, say for a play here or there they could or should have had another 2 wins.   - Boozers

Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2008 6:53 pm

AFC South Break Down Against AFC West

** South.

Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2008 3:55 pm

AFC South Break Down Against AFC West

Boozers, Great run down... I really like the comparison between divisions and I'm surprised that the AFC West is looking more like the AFC Weak than anything. San Diego and Denver are looking to see who can hand the division to the other first meanwhile in the AFC South, the Titans are looking like the team to beat with their all around solid play. Jeff Fisher is by far the most underrated coach in the league and I've always liked his approach.

The Texans are another anamole.... They seem to be on the brink each year and Gary Kubiak is quietly building a defensive powerhouse. I like to call them the Broncos

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2008 7:29 pm

AFC South Break Down Against AFC West

Boozers.  Good run down of each division.  I noticed their wasn't any evaluation on the Defense, other than points allowed.  Might consider adding stats like sacks, interceptions, and fumble recovery. 

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