AFC South Preview

Andrew Luck and the Colts came out of nowhere to make the playoffs last season. Can they repeat or come back down to reality?

Houston Texans

The Texans had an awesome 2012 season going 12-4 and winning a playoff game. In 2013, they don’t just want to get to the playoffs, they want to do major damage when they get there. With Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels the Texans should have no problem scoring points. Matt Schaub is a very good quarterback, but he needs to stay upright and healthy for their offense. The Texans defense is loaded with play makers all over the field. J.J. Watt is a monster, racking up 20.5 sacks last season, so expect many teams to double team him all season long. They lose Connor Barwin in the middle, but get a healthy Brian Cushing back. Jonathan Joseph is a decent corner and the addition of Ed Reed will only help the secondary. Houston is still the class of the division and should have quite a say in the AFC title picture. Scott Boutcher

J.J. Watt’s presence on the line makes the Texans defense very scary.

Indianapolis Colts

After a surprisingly good year in 2012, the Colts will look for similar success this coming year, especially from second year quarterback Andrew Luck. Many are expecting the Colts to regress, including me, because of a tougher schedule and not having the lucky come from behind wins throughout the year. However, Andrew Luck might not have the talent just yet to lead this team through the playoffs, but with the likes of Reggie Wayne, and the rising talent of T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener, the Colts could surprise everyone with another playoff berth in 2013. Kevin Langner

Is this the year that Reggie Wayne regresses?

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville did not sign QB Tim Tebow in the offseason much to the disappointment of fans.  What they do have at the QB position is a lot of questions.  Neither Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne proved themselves to be a franchise cornerstone and one of them will need to step up if this team wants to avoid a top ten pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.  Maurice Jones Drew can help, but even he can’t do it alone.  The Jaguars struggled in so many categories across the board last year, that the only place to go is up.  Rookie OT Luke Joeckel will play a key role in protecting who ever is under center. Glenn Coyle

A healthy Maurice Jones Drew help the Jags but they are still a few years away.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans will be remembered in 2012 for a frustrating 2nd season with Mike Munchak at the helm. With Chris Johnson basking in the glow of what millions of dollars bring his game seemingly suffered, however he is still an electrifying element to the Titans offense and after the first 4 weeks of 2012 performed well but not at the spectacular level previously. Part of this can be attributed to a schizophrenic quarterback competition between Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. While Locker was learning on the job Hasselbeck gave the team a spark that Locker just didn’t seem able to provide. Locker will be better in 2013 and the Titans would benefit greatly from not recreating the Hasselbeck situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick. You can debate whether either Locker or Fitzpatrick is a starting caliber QB but with Nate Washington and Kenny Britt as the starters it remains to be seen if they have an NFL caliber receiving corp. The 2012 defense allowed 98 more first downs than the Titans achieved and despite some additions they might not be much better. Bernard Pollard terrifies the Patriots but there’s a lot more stock in George Wilson and Sammie Hill than is warranted. This Titans team is potentially an AFC South contender but Houston and Indianapolis are more talented in more aspects of the game. Expectations are mixed for the Titans and chances are good their results will be as well. Michael Bedard

The Titans will need a big year from their young quarterback Locker.


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