What did Week 2's result mean for the world of the AFC South categorical standings? Well, it meant that we all need to become Peyton Manning fans this week, and also that the Jaguars could find themselves in a hole very quickly in the most important category.
If you're unsure what the hell I'm even talking about, and what all this "obsessive, over-analytical, and totally unnecessary" view on the NFL schedule even is, check out my first-ever post about categorical scheduling here.
More details after the jump.
(Matchups in bold italics are Week 3 games)
Category 1: AFC South
1. Texans: 1-0 (W @JAX) (remaining: TEN, @TEN, JAX, IND, @IND)
2. Titans: 0-0 (remaining: HOU, @HOU, JAX, @JAX, IND, @IND)
2. Colts: 0-0 (remaining: TEN, @TEN, HOU, @HOU, JAX, @JAX)
4. Jaguars: 0-1 (L HOU) (remaining: TEN, @TEN, @HOU, IND, @IND)
Category 2: AFC East
1. Texans: 1-0 (W MIA) (remaining: @NWE, @NYJ, BUF)
2. Jaguars: 0-0 (remaining: NWE, NYJ, @BUF, @MIA)
2. Colts: 0-0 (remaining: @NWE, @NYJ, BUF, MIA)
4. Titans: 0-1 (L NWE) (remaining: NYJ, @BUF, @MIA)
Category 3: NFC North
1. Titans: 0-0 (remaining: @GB, @MIN, CHI, DET)
1. Texans: 0-0 (remaining: GB, MIN, @CHI, @DET)
3. Colts: 1-1 (W MIN, L @CHI) (remaining: GB, @DET)
4. Jaguars: 0-1 (L @MIN) (remaining: @GB, CHI, DET)
Category 4: AFC West
1. Texans: 0-0 (remaining: @DEN)
1. Jaguars: 0-0 (remaining: @OAK)
1. Colts: 0-0 (remaining: @KC)
4. Titans: 0-1 (L @SD)
Category 5: AFC North
Titans: 0-0 (remaining: PIT)
Texans: 0-0 (remaining: BAL)
Jaguars: 0-0 (remaining: CIN)
Colts: 0-0 (remaining: CLE)
By far, the most interesting matchup in the division this week is the Houston @ Denver contest. Our Titans couldn't get the job done in San Diego in Week 2 to give us a win in the AFC West category, so in order to keep pace with the Texans, it'd be really nice if Peyton Manning and the Broncos can bounce back from a Monday Night loss to beat the visiting Texans. If the Texans pull off the victory, as many experts are expecting they can, then that'll put a 1-game separation between us and them in that particular category, and it's one that we can't gain back. We'll have to hope for better success elsewhere.
These standings should also send us another message: There's no need to panic. The Texans hold a 1-0 lead in two categories, but they still have to play 3 or more games in each of those categories, so there's still plenty of time to shift around in the standings. We'll have our own chances to beat Miami and Jacksonville a little later on this season, and if we can pull those wins off, we'll have matched the Texans in their success so far this season.
As far as the Titans' Week 3 challenge in particular are concerned, we have a chance to build some early success in the NFC North category, as a win at home vs. Detroit would put us at the top of that category for now. Indy and Jacksonville have both lost to NFC North teams already, but Indy also has one win. An early upset of the Lions would give us a really solid start in this category, and put a little pressure on Houston to keep pace once they begin play here as well.
Jacksonville becomes the first team in the division to play its second AFC South game this week, hitting the road to take on Indianapolis. The Jaguars are in an early hole, and falling to 0-2 within the division would be a very rough start, obviously. A loss this week would hurt the Jaguars more than it would hurt the Colts, because the Jaguars would have less opportunity to make up the ground in this particular category after falling to 0-2.