Season Preview: AFC South

The AFC South is an interesting division. The Colts won the division in 2013 with an 11-5 record and the once powerful Texans had the worst record in the NFL. Jacksonville and Tennessee are both coming off an exciting draft but are unlikely contenders to win the division. With major questions surrounding Houston’s QB situation, Andrew Luck and the Colts are the clear front runners.

The Texans drafted a quarterback late in round 4 in Tom Savage. It is highly unlikely that Savage wins the starting quarterback job, he has much development to undergo. I guess Ryan Fitzpatrick is the frontrunner for their starting gig but that is not an attractive option. He may be a bright Harvard graduate, but Fitzpatrick specialty is late throws that get picked and he has limited arm strength. Case Keenum however did not fill Texans fans with hope last season. Its hard to win without good quarterback play; this is bad news for the Texans as I don’t see a good quarterback on their roster.

There is no question the Texans have talent, especially on defense. They drafted Jadeveon Clowney with the number 1 pick. A defense with Clowney and JJ Watt is too good to be true. If there is a team who can win without a quarterback it might be the Texans. Still it will be a tall order for new coach Bill O’Brien.

The Titans had a phenomenal draft. Taylor Lewan is one heck of an athletic offensive tackle and Bishop Sankey could be a game changer. The defense should be decent and DaQuan Jones will have an immediate impact up front. Jake Locker showed signs of life last year under center but nothing to be overly enthused in. Its possible Tennessee could fight for a wild card. They are a talented team but its hard to see them beating teams with good quarterback play consistently.

Jacksonville drafted Blake Bortles to be their future, but expect to start Chad Henne will play for the present. Jacksonville should be more explosive on offense with rookie receivers Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson. The Jaguars are still rebuilding. They seem to be in a positive direction, however they are not there yet.

By deduction the Colts are the clear front runner to win the division. Chuck Pagano’s defense will continue to improve, especially with the addition of Arthur Jones on the defensive line. The offense will improve as Andrew Luck has a new weapon in Hakeem Nicks and the team will have a healthy Reggie Wayne back. After going 11-5 two consecutive seasons it seems likely that the Colts will win a second consecutive divisional championship.

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