With the NFL season just around the corner, it’s time to throw out some wild predictions about how the teams will shape up and which players will thrive in 2014.
Last season was a year of change for the AFC South, well a change back to its form from only a handful of years ago. The status quo is back in order with the Indianapolis Colts as the perennial favorites to win this division over the next decade. However, that doesn’t mean the other teams in the AFC South should be disregarded as there are some spectacular units for each of these clubs that can take over a game on any given Sunday.
Here are my predictions for the AFC South this season:
1. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
2. Houston Texans (8-8)
3. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
So sure, all that talk and I still think the Colts are going to win the division pretty handily. Until Andrew Luck gives me any reason to bet against him, I am going to stick with the bearded-wonder at the top of the South. The units that may give Indy some trouble are the defenses of the Texans and the Jaguars. There are a number of Pro-Bowl caliber players lining up for the Texans D this year, plus the addition of number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, and Gus Bradley will coach up the Jags D to the top half of the league, so the Colts will have to keep Luck upright against these clubs four times this season. The Titans have the most balance of these clubs, assuming Jake Locker plays in more than 10 games, which is far from a guarantee.
Here are some individual awards for the division:
AFC South Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, IND
AFC South Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, HOU
AFC South Rookie of the Year: Marqise Lee, JAX
AFC South X-Factor: Ryan Fitzpatrick, HOU
AFC South Coach of the Year: Gus Bradley, JAX