Texans, Colts roll into AFC South battle

Indianapolis (3-2) and Houston (4-2) have a couple of statement victories by winning at Kansas City in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively. Now comes Week 7 at Indianapolis in a game for first place in the AFC South. The Colts lead the series 24-8 and have won three of the past four. But Deshaun Watson finally is getting some protection. He ranks fourth in passer rating (107.9).

Eagles, Cowboys slump into NFC East showdown

Last week wasn’t a good look for the NFC East. After the Eagles’ defense was thrashed in Minnesota in an early game, the Cowboys were humiliated at the Jets in the late afternoon. Now they meet as 3-3 teams in a battle for first place. Philly hopes to get cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby back.

 

Cards, Giants future on display at MetLife

Yeah, it’s a game between two teams with a combined 4-7-1 record. But Cardinals (2-3-1) vs. Giants (2-4) does feature a matchup of rookie QBs taken in the top 10. Arizona’s Kyler Murray was the first overall pick, while Daniel Jones was sixth. The record for most combined passing yards in a game between two top-10 rookie QBs is 723, set in 2012 when Andrew Luck (No. 1 overall) threw for 433 yards in a game against Ryan Tannehill (No. 8).

100 NFL SEASONS: A LOOK BACK

Jan. 5, 1992: Lions QB Erik Kramer threw for 341 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 38-6 beatdown of the Cowboys and Troy Aikman, a third-year pro making his playoff debut at the Silverdome.

And that, folks, is the last time the Lions won a postseason game. They went to Washington the following week and were crushed 41-10 in the NFC Championship Game. How long ago was that? Well, let’s put it this way: Five weeks after the Lions’ last playoff win, Atlanta traded a rookie backup named Brett Favre to the Packers. Brett just turned 50. So, yeah, no team in the league can match the Lions when it comes to a postseason losing drought. They’ve gone 0-9 with eight one-and-dones, the last of which came in 2016. Even the Browns — a team that moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season, sat dormant for three seasons and was reborn in 1999 as a two-decade laughingstock — has won a playoff game since 1991. They won at the end of the 1994 season when a fella named Bill Belichick beat the Patriots and a guy named Bill Parcells.

UPSET OF THE WEEK

So, no nice, pleasant tweets acknowledging that last week’s upset special prediction nailed Texans 31, Chiefs 24 right square on the nose? We’ll try it again. The Rams’ stunning tailspin reaches the brink of no return when Los Angeles goes to Atlanta as a 3-point favorite and loses to one of the league’s softest defenses. Pick: Falcons 34, Rams 28. Last week: Texans 31, Chiefs 24. Result: Texans 31, Chiefs 24. Record: 3-3.

MARK CRAIG