AFC SOUTH PREVIEW
How they’ll finish
They will still end the season on top and in the playoffs again, pending no serious injuries occur. Peyton and the offense will have to adjust to a new offensive coordinator and a slower snap due to the new referee rule. The receiver corp who no one knew of last year will have to come up big once again. With Addai having a concussion, Donald Brown will get more touches and will be a younger, stronger, faster running back the Colts need. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a Donald Brown fan. I don’t remember Indy making any big defensive changes so they’ll be the same. (12-4)
Vince Young emerged at the 2nd half of the season and I plan for him to continue where he left off. He’s grasping for that leadership that the late Steve McNair had. He took his receivers on vacation, built up a camaraderie and it showed during preseason. That leadership paired with CJ2K’ s goal of accomplishing 2,500 yards are high yet reachable benchmarks. The Titan’s defense always manages to be a stout defense to run on and shaky on the pass. (10-6)
Houston had a taste of their first winning season last year. Matt Schaub looks sturdy and ready to lead the team to the playoffs this year. He has a satisfied Andre Johnson who’s becoming the best receiver in the league. Landing himself a hefty contract he should be pretty amped for the season. Arian Foster’s emerging as their debut running back. He was impressive their last few games and made a name for himself in the preseason, now it’s time to show and prove he’s the answer to the running game. Owen Daniels came off knee surgery so he’ll start off slow and once he’s part of the starting squad we’ll see if he can get past the mental part of the injury. Houston’s defense has some cornerstones on it, with Mario Williams becoming a prominent defensive end and Demeco Ryans anchoring the linebacker corp the front seven should be legit. (10-6)
Jacksonville will be worst this season. They didn’t make any big changes, had a controversial first round pick and had most of their games blacked out. David Garrard isn’t a starting quarterback and him having no stand out receivers doesn’t help. Maurice Jones-Drew will be Ricky Williams of the Dolphins back in 02-03. He’ll be a workhorse with a controversial amount of carries this year. With Torry Holt gone, Mike Sims-Walker should be the number one receiver but is he mature enough to take on that role? The jaguars defense added nothing too major. Picking up Aaron Kampman who’s a good defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid was a good pick up but what are they going to do with him? He’ll be a good player on a defensive scheme which doesn’t make best of his abilities.. With high powered offenses they’ll be facing in their division, one would think they would pad the defense more besides one player.. Rashean Mathis has the experience against the afc south so he would be the “anchor” on defense in divisional games. (6-10)
Who to watch for:
Indy: Watch the offense more so the chemistry between Manning and his receiving corp. Last year the no name receivers besides Reggie Wayne blew up and came out of nowhere. With a new offensive coordinator will they adjust well?
Tenn: Let’s see if Vince Young can lead this team like Steve McNair did in the Titans golden era? Has he got past the immaturity? Are the boo’s gonna bother him? Are the bar fights done with? Ready to be an adult and lead this team Vince?
Houston: Arian Foster. He has everyone talking, was impressive in preseason and towards the end of the season. Is he the answer to Houston’s running attack?
Jacksonville: Maurice Jones Drew. He will be the offense for a struggling Jacksonville team.
Who drops the ball
Indy: Joseph Addai will lose snaps to a rising star in Donald Brown
Jax: David Garrard. No safe receiver options, an over worked running back, and your town dislikes you.
Houston: Brian Cushing. Facing a 4 game suspension from substance abuse, was it the juice that got him defensive player of the year or talent? We’ll see
Tennessee: Chris Johnson.. He’ll be good, but he’ll disappoint on not making 2500 yards.