This week lets take a look at the AFC South. There are some great storylines in this division so who knows what the outcome will be at the end of the season, that being said here is my prediction.
Final Standings Prediction:
1. Indianapolis Colts: As Andrew Luck has shown us, winning the AFC South is so easy a caveman can do it; but all jokes aside he has proven to be one of the best QB’s since his entrance into the league in 2012. Last season the Colts dominated the division and finished with a 11-5 overall record and a 6-0 divisional record. However, they were exposed in the playoffs by the Patriots for the second straight year proving that the Colts have much to improve on if they want to be a Super Bowl caliber team. In the offseason they were able to add veteran players RB Frank Gore and WR Andre Johnson. Both players look to contribute to the team in big ways despite there increasing age and diminishing athletic ability. With an explosive offense and with really the Texans being the only competition in the South, I’d expect nothing less than the second seed in the AFC for the Colts.
2. Houston Texans: Were you disappointed with the Texans performance last season? Especially with QB’s Ryan Fitzpatrick and his replacement Ryan Mallett? Well don’t worry, this offseason the Texans have signed Tom Brady…’s old backup Brian Hoyer, ouch. Now former Patriot Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien has two former Brady backups. For Hoyer, he had a very mediocre career with the Cleveland Browns, so expect to see Mallett in the starting role. Unless Mallet or Hoyer can step up and have a career season (who will have no help from the WR position), I don’t expect the Texans to be able to beat the Colts for the first spot in the division. The good news for Houston is that they continued to stack an already terrifying defensive line by adding DT Vince Wilfork. If the Texans can hold off costly turnovers in crunch time unlike other Houston athletes, *cough* James Harden *cough* then they will be fighting for that coveted sixth seed, the final wild card spot in the AFC.
3. Tennessee Titans: After finishing with only two wins and one of the worst record in the league the Titans stayed relatively quite during free agency. The only notable transactions were the additions of WR Hakeem Nicks and LB Brian Orakpo. However, the Titans went big in the draft by drafting QB and Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. He will still have to prove himself and earn the starting role over Zach Mettenberger, but there is no doubt in my mind he will be the starter week one. Mariota’s athleticism and play style reminds me of Russell Wilson and I think he will be a great player. So as he develops, as will the Titans team as a whole.
4: Jacksonville Jaguars: The poor Jaguars…after finishing 3-13 last season they took some big hits in the offseason when veteran RB Maurice Jones Drew retired and their first round draft pick OT Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL in one of the first practices. The Jaguars were able to sign TE Julius Thomas who will definitely be a major target for QB Blake Bortles, who’s physique resembles a young Ben Roethlisberger. Hopefully in Bortles second year he can improve, but I don’t think the Jaguars have a strong enough overall team to win games just yet.