AFC South…

Posted: 01/04/2012 by levcohen in Football

#3 Houston Texans, 10-6: Houston is a relatively new team that has been mediocre every year since they became an NFL team. This was their best year, by far. They started 3-3, and then promptly won seven in a row, before losing their final three games to finish at 10-6, and the #3 seed in the AFC. QB Matt Schaub got injured and played only the first 10 games. After his injury, the Texans were 3-3. He will miss the playoffs. Enter 3rd string QB TJ Yates, who posted average numbers in the regular season games he started. The Texans will need to take pressure off the young QB, and they have a way to do that. The way is Arian Foster. While he missed three games due to injury, he ended with the 6th most carries in the NFL. He ran for over 1,200 yards, and added 53 receptions for 617 yards, scoring 12 TD’s. The WR’s are led by Andre Johnson, who suffered injuries and scored fewer than 500 yards. Owen Daniels is a solid tight end. The Texan’s defense allows very few yards, and has a good run and pass defense. They are led by LB Brian Cushing, who had over 100 tackles and 4 sacks. JJ Watt solidifies the defensive line, and Jonathan Joseph is a shutdown corner that every team wants. The Texans were helped this year by the Colt’s futility and Peyton Manning’s absence. If the Colts were the same old Colts, I don’t think we’d be seeing this team in the playoffs. Their first round game against the Bengals should be considered very evenly matched, but they might get the edge just because of experience and Arian Foster.

Tennessee Titans, 9-7: The Titans were a very average team. RB Chris Johnson, who was so good two years ago, ran for just 1,047, maybe because of limited practice (he had held out of training camp because of a contract dispute), or maybe because of a lackluster offensive line. QB Matt Hassleback is a solid, mid tier passer. There is a lot of promise in the backup, rookie Jake Locker, who performed very well in his limited playing time. At WR, Nate Washington is above average. Kenny Britt was on his way to a spectacular season before injuring his knee just over 2 games into the year. The defense is led by Jason McCourty and Jordan Babineaux, but it wasn’t very good this past year. This team has talent, with Locker leading the way. Next year, expect Locker to take the QB spot midway through the year, and Chris Johnson to bounce back. With a healthy Britt, this team can possibly improve to 10-6.

Jacksonville Jaguars, 5-11: This team was bad. They got almost no production out of their QB, Blain Gabbert, who was at the bottom of the league in a lot of meaningful statistics. The team let go of David Garrard before the year, which turned out to be a mistake. He most certainly would have put up at least 3,000 yards and a 57%+ completion percent. Gabbert only threw for 2200 yards and his completion% was barely over 50. RB Maurice Jones-Drew was stellar. He led the league in rushing attempts and yards, with 343 and 1606. He also had the second most catches and third most receiving yards on the team. The WR had no talent at all. Mike Thomas is their best, but he is a possession type WR and he needs a good QB to get good numbers. Besides him and Mercedes Lewis, a good TE when Garrard was around, they have nothing. On defense the Jags have a few playmakers, led by Paul Posluszny. The franchise was sold and all coaches cleaned out. This team has a long way to go before being relevant. Expect them to return to the position as league doormat once Manning or Andrew Luck is leading the Colts.

Indianapolis Colts, 2-14: Colts fans are breathing a sigh of relief. For a week, it was possible that Indy wouldn’t get the 1st pick in the NFL draft. They lost to the Jags in week 17 though, so they are assured the chance at Luck, the stud QB from Stanford. They also have Peyton Manning, the best QB in the NFL, who missed the whole year with a neck injury. He will be back next year, so there is a controversy in Indy. Do the Colts keep Manning? If so, do they still draft Luck, the best QB prospect we’ve seen in a long time? Luck wants to start immediately, and Manning might be okay with a trade. I think the Colts have to keep Manning. He is the face of the NFL, and you don’t want to trade that. He has also led the Colts to good success and a Superbowl. Unless Luck will be extremely unhappy with sitting for a year, the Colts should draft him. A year of Manning mentoring him will be value, and he can take the QB job the year after. Another option is for the Colts to try and add other talent around Manning. They need a running back and defense pretty desperately. As for this year, it was all bad. There was probably not one good thing to be taken out of this season by Colts fans. Good luck with Luck and/or Manning. Better Luck next year. 😛



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