The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. A team that lost by several touchdowns the week before can follow up the next week with a blowout victory. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the very next game.
With Week 3 of the regular season in the books, let’s take a look at three AFC South players who saw their stock rise, and three (including one head coach) who saw it fall.
Alfred Blue, running back, Houston Texans
The Houston running game struggled the first two weeks, but you wouldn’t have guessed that Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Blue, filling in for the injured Arian Foster, had a huge game, carrying the ball 39 times for 139 yards and a touchdown. Foster may be back in the lineup as early as this week, but Blue made the most of his opportunity against Tampa Bay.
Andrew Luck, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
After two games in which he and the Colts had struggled, Luck bounced back against the Tennessee Titans, leading Indianapolis to a fourth quarter comeback. In engineering the rally, Luck saved his team from a 0-3 start and helped take some of the pressure off head coach Chuck Pagano. With Jacksonville headed to town this Sunday, Luck and the Colts now have a chance to establish some momentum.
Frank Gore, running back, Indianapolis Colts
Gore showed why the Colts brought him to Indianapolis, running for two touchdowns against the Titans, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. In all, the veteran back ran for 86 yards and helped add necessary balance to the Indianapolis offense. He performance, after a lackluster first two weeks, was a positive sign for the Indianapolis moving forward.
Todd Herremans, right guard, Indianapolis Colts
Herremans arrived in Indianapolis after 10 years in Philadelphia as the centerpiece in the Colts’ effort to upgrade their offensive line. After two games as a starter, he was benched in favor of Hugh Thornton, as the Colts made a series of changes along the offensive line. The new-look Colts line didn’t really produce better results, as Luck was sacked three times, but at least the team came away with a win. Whether Herremans works his way back into the lineup remains to be seen.
Ken Whisenhunt, head coach, Tennessee Titans
With the Titans down 35-33 with less than a minute remaining, the Titans had the ball on the one-yard line. Whisenhunt elected to give it to fullback Jalston Fowler, who failed to get in the endzone. After the game, Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton said Indianapolis knew what was comine, based on the number of times the Titans had run the play out of the same formation throughout the game. While it was close enough that Tennessee probably should have scored anyway, not letting mobile rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota try to make a play may have cost the Titans a shot at knocking off their AFC South rivals.
Marqise Lee, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lee, who battled a hamstring strain throughout most of training training camp and missed the preseason and Week 1 as well, exited Jacksonville’s blowout loss to the Patriots with hamstring soreness. While the receiver said he could have played the rest of the game, the Jaguars training staff elected to hold him out. On Monday, head coach Gus Bradley admitted to reporters he doesn’t view Lee as a reliable player at this point and the second-year player agreed. The former second-round pick needs to find a way stay healthy and remain on the field or Jacksonville’s patience may soon wear thin, if it hasn’t already.