Monday, September 6, 2010

AFC South Preview

1st Place, Indianapolis Colts

Offensive Players:
QB Peyton Manning
RB Joseph Addai
WR Reggie Wayne
WR Pierre Garcon
WR Austin Collie
TE Dallas Clark
C Jeff Saturday

Defensive Players:
DE Robert Mathis
DE Dwight Freeney
LB Gary Brackett
FS Antoine Bethea
SS Bob Sanders

The Colts can keep up with anyone on offense, and pair that high powered attack with a speedy, disruptive defense. With Mathis and Freeney putting pressure on opposing QB's, and Sanders and Bethea shadowing receivers, the Colts are one of the tougher teams to pass against. They can be run against though, which is the one area of weakness. There other question area is their own rushing attack as Addai hasn't rushed for 1,000 yards since 2007 and Donald Brown is coming off of a lackluster rookie campaign. I think their running game will be just fine though, as Addai looks healthy, and Brown looks hungry. Peyton Manning has so many weapons though (add a returning, healthy Anthony Gonzalez to the receiving mix), that even if they don't run the football at all, they'll still produce enough offense to beat most teams in this league.

2nd Place, Houston Texans

Offensive Players:
QB Matt Schaub
RB Arian Foster
WR Andre Johnson
TE Owen Daniels
LT Duane Brown

Defensive Players:
DE Mario Williams
LB Brian Cushing
LB DeMeco Ryans
SS Bernard Pollard
CB Glover Quin

The Texans have kept pretty much the same core in-tact over the last 3 seasons, and I think this year it's going to really start paying off. I like QB Matt Schaub and can see him having his first 30 TD season while he continues flirting with the 5,000 passing yard mark. Young running back Arian Foster is also set for a breakout season (I'm expecting 1,100 yards, 8 TD). I also like the top-3 targets Schaub throws to in Johnson, Daniels and Walter. They just need their defense to bring some more consistency to the plate, and I think that will happen this year. They have a stud pass-rusher in Mario Williams, and a young Brian Urlacher type in Brian Cushing (once he gets back from his 4 game suspension) and have some nice young players developing in their secondary.

3rd Place, Tennessee Titans

Offensive Players:
QB Vince Young
RB Chris Johnson
WR Kenny Britt
TE Bo Scaife
LT Michael Roos

Defensive Players:
DE Derrick Morgan (R)
DE Jacob Ford
LB Will Witherspoon
CB Cortland Finnegan
SS Chris Hope

The Titans hope Vince Young takes the quarterback reigns for good this year, and holds it for the next half decade at least, and I think he will. He finished off last year nicely, carrying the Titans to an 8-2 record after he took over in week 8. Now, most of that success was attributed to Chris Johnson's freakish year (16 TD, 2,000 yards, 5.6 YPC), but Young looked like a whole different QB as well, actually throwing more TD's than Int's for the first time in his career. Still though, questions surround the Titans' passing game, as Young has very limited options outside of WR #1 Kenny Britt. They also have some defensive questions to answer, like who's going to put pressure on the QB, and will they be able to stop the run?

4th Place, Jacksonville Jaguars

Offensive Players:
QB David Garrard
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
WR Mike Sims-Walker
WR Mike Thomas
LT Eugene Monroe

Defensive Players:
DE Aaron Kampman
DT Tyson Alualu (R)
LB Kirk Morrison
CB Derek Cox
CB Rashean Mathis

The Jaguars have a few nice pieces, I really like the hyphen bros' Jones-Drew and Sims-Walker, but I've never been sold on David Garrard as a starting QB, and I don't think the Jaguars are either. He's not horrible, but he just doesn't have a whole lot of upside. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jacksonville possibly look at the recently released Matt Lienhart for depth. Defensively, they don't have a whole lot either. I like rookie Alualu at DT, and their corners, but they're going to get run on like crazy, and don't have a pass rush to speak of.

(R) indicates rookie * indicates AFC Wild-Card team

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