AFC South news: Texans fire David Culley

The Jags aren’t the only team in the AFC South looking for a new coach.

The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t the only team conducting a head coaching search in the AFC South at the moment, as the Houston Texans are doing the same, too. After just one season, the team decided to fire coach David Culley, giving the Texans the seventh NFL opening.

Culley, who has almost 30 years of NFL experience, was hired by the Texans on Jan. 29 of last year to replace Bill O’Brien, who was fired before the 2020 season could end. With Deshaun Watson demanding a trade and limited draft selections, the Texans’ job was one many felt should’ve come with low expectations in Year 1, but Culley still managed to go 4-13.

Of course, two of Culley’s wins were against the Jags, including his first regular season game as an NFL head coach as the Texans defeated the Jags easily by a score of 30-16. He was also able to defeat another AFC South team in the Tennessee Titans as well as the Los Angeles Chargers.

In addition to Culley, the team also fired its offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly who had been with the team since 2014.

Culley joins former Jags coach Urban Meyer, Matt Nagy, Joe Judge, Brian Flores, Vic Fangio, and Mike Zimmer on the list of coaches who were let go this offseason. However, many of the names may not be available for long when considering their experience and connections.

Colts legend Jeff Saturday says Colts lost to Jags ‘broke’ him

Former Colts center Jeff Saturday isn’t taking Indy’s loss to the Jags all that well and vented about it on the “Pat McAfee Show.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars came into Sunday’s game +14.5 point underdogs to the Indianapolis Colts, but just as they did against the heavily favored Buffalo Bills Week 9, the Cardiac Cats pulled off a miracle. Not only were they victorious, though, they won by over two touchdowns and helped eliminate the Colts out of postseason contention.

The Jags’ upset left many Colts fans, players, and coaches distraught, and as a result, it’s going to take a while to get over. That appears to especially be the case for Colts legend Jeff Saturday, who is now an analyst at ESPN.

On an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show,” Saturday called the loss to the Jags an “epic failure” that “broke” him.

“Epic failure. It broke me,” the former Colts center said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a game that hurt that much that I wasn’t in. My stomach hurt for everyone who was a Colts fan or part of the organization. We can talk about (Carson) Wentz and him not getting it done, but we got beat up. It wasn’t even close. They beat the brakes off us and we had no answer. I never saw that coming.”

Saturday is right, the Jags beat the Colts in every aspect of the game even when taken out the fact that quarterback Carson Wentz was sacked six times. They converted almost half of their third-downs (7-of-15), they won the turnover margin at a 2-to-0 rate, held the Colts to under 100 rushing yards, and won the time of possession battle, too (33:19 to 26:41).

However, there was just a positive vibe surrounding the Jags from the jump as they scored a touchdown on the first drive, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence hit receiver Laquon Treadwell on a 2-yard touchdown reception to end it. It was then that Saturday started to realize that the Colts were in for a long day.

“The first drive, you’re seeing (Jacksonville) convert and growing in confidence,” he added. “You see Lawrence starting to feel good. We had zero pass rush. He’s back there smoking a cigarette, taking his time. No issues. No worries. That got us off our game. We never got into a rhythm with (running back Jonathan) Taylor. We kind of allowed them to dictate when we were going to try to run, and our offensive line didn’t play well. […] Everyone had issues that showed up in big moments.”

While some were stunned, the Jags did prove they were capable of hanging with the Colts earlier this season as Lawrence had a chance to march the Jags down the field for a walk-off score Week 10. However, the Colts’ defense made a huge play as defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo stripped Lawrence and the ball was recovered by Indy.

Lawrence didn’t take that loss well and got his revenge on the Colts after going 23-of-32 (71.9%) for 223 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. Unfortunately for Saturday and the Colts, his revenge came when they needed a win the most, and now the team will have to wait until next season to chase a Super Bowl title.

Behind Enemy Lines: Week 15 Q&A with Texans Wire

Earlier this week, we sat down with Texans Wire to get some intel on Davis Mills and Co., who have the same record as the Jags.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were among the most popular NFL topics after the firing of Urban Meyer, who they cut ties with on Thursday and replaced with interim Darrell Bevell. However, that made it easy to forget that the team has a game to play this Sunday against their divisional rivals in the Houston Texans.

Much like the Jags, the Texans have struggled and have the same record, so this game could decide who will end up being the worst team in the AFC South. However, one of their two wins was against the Jags Week 1, so they are capable of sweeping the Jags, especially with the Jags’ offense being as anemic as it is.

To discuss how much has changed since their last meeting with the Jags, we sat down with Mark Lane of Texans Wire for a quick Q&A. Here is what he had to say about Houston as they will come into Jacksonville looking to expand their 26-13 record against the Jags:

Twitter reacts to the Jaguars firing Urban Meyer as coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer after a 2-11 record. Here is how Twitter reacted to the news.

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a fresh start Thursday morning with the firing of coach Urban Meyer.

The move happened in the middle of the night, and comes after a string of embarrassments that range from his 2-11 record to getting shutout 20-0 at the hands of the Tennessee Titans in Week 14 to a story about how he allegedly kicked kicker Josh Lambo.

Like Jaguars owner Shad Khan when firing a coach, Twitter never sleeps, and the coaching change by Jacksonville was just what football fans needed as one jolt of excitement before bedtime. Here are some of the best reactions from Twitter.

Behind Enemy Lines: Week 14 Q&A with Titans Wire

We caught up with @TheTitansWire’s @MichaelMoraitis yet again this week and he had a few things to say about Tennessee’s struggles, Julio Jones, and more.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will look to get right this Sunday by winning their first away game (London was considered a home game) since 2019 when they beat the Oakland Raiders. They also will be looking to earn their first win in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans for the first time since 2013.

However, despite the team coming into Week 14 desperate for a win, they will be facing a Titans team that leads the AFC South, but has loss there last two. To discuss exactly what shape the team is in heading into Sunday, we sat down with Titans Wire editor Michael Moraitis and here is what he had to say about Mike Vrabel’s group:

Podcast: Jags Wire discusses Urban Meyer, James Robinson, and more with Music City Audible

Earlier this week we joined the @MCABroadway podcast hosted by @JustinM_NFL and @TitansFilmRoom to talk about the shape the Jags are in heading into Sunday’s game. Check it out!

The 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars will head to Nashville Sunday for their final battle of the year with the Tennessee Titans, who currently lead the AFC South with an 8-4 record. In the process of being underdogs by more than a touchdown, they will have to overcome a losing streak in Nashville that dates back to the year 2013.

In their first meeting of the season, the Jags’ defense wasn’t quite clicking like it is now, and the result was Derrick Henry and Co. running wild on them (he had 130 yards and three touchdowns), which propelled the Titans to a 37-19 victory. However, both teams have now been hit with several key injuries to their skill players like Henry, Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Jamal Agnew, and Dan Arnold, which could make things a little more interesting if both offenses can somehow get going.

To talk about Week 14’s battle, Jags Wire joined The Music City Audible podcast to discuss the Jags’ current state heading into Sunday. Among the topics discussed were Trevor Lawrence’s development, Urban Meyer’s issues since being hired, the Jags’ draft class, issues with getting James Robinson touches, and more. Then to end the podcast, we also shared a score prediction and some thoughts on the outcome.

To stay up to date with the Titans before and after the game, feel free to give the hosts of the show (Justin Melo and Justin Graver) a follow on Twitter at @JustinM_NFL and @Titansfilmroom. Also, feel free to follow Broad Way Sports Media, which is the site that both post their Titans content on.

Film study: Why Colts’ Jonathan Taylor is dominating the NFL run game

Touchdown Wire’s Laurie Fitzpatrick analyzes the game film to explain why Jonathan Taylor is dominating opponents.

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is emerging as a legitimate superstar this season.

With the recent injury to Tennessee Titans workhorse Derrick Henry, Taylor has emerged from the shadow of his AFC South counterpart. Taylor leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,122), yards from scrimmage (1,444), rushing touchdowns (13) and longest run from scrimmage (83 yards). He’s also the first running back to reach 1,000-yard mark on the season.

Taylor currently averages 5.8 yards per carry and has over 100 total yards in eight consecutive games. Here are his numbers since Week 4:

Week Opponent Total yds. TDs
4 at Miami 114 1
5 at Baltimore 169 2
6 Houston 158 2
7 at San Francisco 110 1
8 Tennessee 122 1
9 N.Y. Jets 200 2
10 Jacksonville 126 1
11 at Buffalo 204 5

Taylor, a second-year pro who rushed for 6,174 yards during his collegiate career with the Wisconsin Badgers, also just set a Colts franchise record with five touchdowns in a blowout win over the Buffalo Bills.

Taylor is only 48 yards away from surpassing his rushing yardage total from his entire rookie season and two rushing first downs away from eclipsing his total from 2020.

When the Colts started the season 0-3, Taylor averaged only 57 rushing yards per game. Now 6-5 and in the midst of the AFC playoff chase, the Colts are on a three-game winning streak. In those past three games, Taylor has averaged 158 rushing yards.

What changed? His snaps. He is now the workhorse of the Colts offense.

Taylor had 32 carries and three receptions against Buffalo on Sunday, and he’s been on the field for more than 80% of the team’s offensive snaps each of the past two weeks.

Let’s examine some game film to learn why Taylor has been so effective.

Behind Enemy Lines: Week 10 Q&A with Colts Wire

@KevinHickey11 of @TheColtsWire offered us a little intel on Indianapolis, who will come into Sunday’s game with three victories in their last four games.

After a huge win over the Buffalo Bills, the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to string together two in a row for the first time since 2019. However, to do that the team will have to win on the road (excluding their trip to London) for the first time this season as they look to stop a hot Indianapolis Colts team.

Like the Jags, the Colts didn’t get off to a fast start early this season losing four of their first five games. However, they won three of their last four afterward and are now a game away from .500.

Of course, since their last matchup against the Jags (which occurred last season), a lot has changed with their roster, including the addition of a new QB1. To get some intel on those changes and some information on how the season has gone, we sat down with Colts Wire editor Kevin Hickey this week.

Here are five questions he was able to answer about the 3-4 Colts, who are currently in second place within the AFC South:

Jaguars vs. Colts: 3 things to know about Week 10’s game

The Jags haven’t been able to get many wins these past few seasons, but they surprisingly have fared well against the Colts dating back to 2015.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off the biggest upset in team history in terms of the spread deficit after defeating Buffalo, but they must put that behind them as they have a divisional rival in the Indianapolis Colts to take on Sunday. Of course, as fans are aware, that won’t exactly be an easy task, either, as the Jags have yet to win a true road game in 2021.

Just as they were last week, the Jags will enter this game as underdogs by more than a touchdown, and it’s easy to see why when considering the Colts have won three of their last four. That includes a Week 9 Thursday Night Football victory over the New York Jets, who they beat 45-30.

That said, if the Jags ride the momentum they have from Week 9, it could get interesting, and here are three things to know as we approach Sunday’s AFC South showdown:

Trevor Lawrence and James Robinson lead the Jaguars to their first win

Trevor Lawrence and James Robinson take over on a key drive in the third quarter

The Jaguars pulled off a win for the first time this season, and ended their twenty-game losing streak while in London against the Dolphins. It was a nail-biter as Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright tied the game in the fourth quarter, and then won the game 23-20, with a 53-yard field goal as time expired.

Trevor Lawrence went 25 of41 for 319 yards and a touchdown; and running back James Robinson had 17 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. Both players made some key plays down the stretch to seal the game. These two playmakers have had their highlights throughout the season but it never seemed to be at the same time. Today, they both contributed to the win.

Early on into the game, the Jaguars offense seemed to struggle getting the ball moving because of some key drops and false-start penalties. But as the half was coming to a close Lawrence throws up a ball to Marvin Jones, who is able to come down with it as he is one-on-one against cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

This touchdown gave the Jaguars momentum as they were only down by a field goal to get the ball back after the half.

Opening the third quarter, Lawrence made two crucial passes downfield to keep the ball moving, which this ended up being the drive that kept the Jaguars in the game.

Then on second-and-long, Lawrence made a big throw to Jamaal Agnew to keep the chains moving.

At this point in the drive, it was important for the Jaguars to run the ball, as they have one of the top running backs in the league and they needed to keep the drive going. It pays off as Robinson uses his vision and downhill speed to get the offense to the one-yard line, and then punchef it in to put the Jaguars up 17-13.

The Jaguars stayed on the gas throughout the third quarter, keeping the ball on the ground as continued to feed Robinson to keep the clock moving.

In the fourth quarter, the defenses for both teams were making stops. So with 3:40 left in the game, kicker Matthew Wright ties it up 20-20. Oddly enough the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t make a single field goal attempt all year.

So with one minute left and the Jaguars getting the ball back after their defense makes a fourth-down stop, the offense needed about twenty yards to get in field goal range.

With only :05 seconds left on the clock the the Jaguars draw up critical fourth down passing play as they notice the Dolphins defense playing off-coverage.

Just like that Lawrence gets it out on a quick slant to Laviska Shenault Jr. It was the one moment that the Jaguars needed their rookie quarterback to make a play. This right here put the Jaguars in field goal range to win the game 23-20.

If there was any doubt before about Lawrence being the guy, there should no longer be after this performance today. As long as they continue to feed running-back Robinson, the offense should have no trouble moving the ball down field with these two playmakers.