AFC South Division Preview 2014
In preparation for the upcoming 2014 NFL season, Just A Guy has put together a team-by-team run down of every division. Today we highlight the AFC South, which includes the Texans, Colts, Jaguars, and Titans.
The Texans were a disaster last year. Arian Foster wasn’t healthy, and Matt Schaub played so poorly, he was benched and then traded to the Raiders this year. With the number one overall pick, the Houston Texans selected polarizing defensive end Jadaveon Clowney, in hopes of creating the ultimate bookend tandem with JJ Watt. On offense, they lost oft injured backup Ben Tate, and will once again be relying on Arian Foster to stay healthy. Ryan Fitzpatrick steps in at QB, with a returning, (but apparently unhappy) aging, Andre Johnson, and second year man Deandre Hopkins, who is expected to make a huge leap. Bill O’Brien joins as head coach, coming over from Penn State. He is a pass happy coach, but the Texans simply don’t have the personnel to do that. It’ll be ground and pound for this team, banking on their defense returning to the upper echelon. – Frank
The Colts are preseason division favorites and that makes sense when looking at their competition. A high powered offense featuring Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, and Coby Fleener. Hakeem Nicks comes in to replace Darius Heyward-Bey as the third wideout, while Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson will pair up in the backfield. The Colts even have a good backup quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck. Lots of talent could mean lots of points for the Colts.
On the defensive side of the ball they’ll need the young guys to continue to step up as they lost Antoine Bethea and Pat Angerer. They still have a strong core with Jerell Freeman, D’Qwell Jackson, and Robert Mathis at linebacker. If Mathis can even come close to last year’s 19.5 sack total, they should be a fun team to watch. – Ryan
A Jaguars team without MJD? Seems weird, buts it’s true and Toby Gerhart with get the carries. He’s nothing flashy but seems like he can be a workhorse. Chad Henne or Blake Bortles? Henne will probably start the season but Bortles should take over once the Jaguars lose a bunch of games. Some good potential pass catchers too with them drafting Allen Robinson and Marqis Lee to add to Ace Sanders and Cecil Shorts. The defense added some big names in Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. Maybe trying to bring a little Seahawk magic to the east coast. HC Gus Bradley seems to be laying out the same blueprint for the Jags as he did in Seattle. They are building from the ground up on both sides of the ball. A year or 2 away from contention tho. Give them 6-10 this year. – Chris
Don’t look for the Titans to break any records or even be particularly exciting this season. The team let Chris Johnson walk in free agency and replaced him with Bishop Sankey in the second round of the draft. So it’ll be up to Sankey and Shonn Greene to carry the ground game. Jake Locker is still the QB and the Titans will be counting on him to stay healthy the entire season. Nate Washington will be the leading receiver, but he doesn’t necessarily scare opposing teams. The same could be said about the defense. The saving grace is the that the team plays in the AFC South, generously described as woeful last season, and while the division should improve this season, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of excellence. The Titans could win enough to be second in the division, but not much more. – Steve