Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans won the AFC South last season. But if they repeat, can Schaub take the team any deeper in the playoffs?
AFC South Prediction:
Why they will win? The Houston Texans started last season on a hot streak. The defense led by J.J. Watt looked great, and the offense was doing well with QB Matt Schaub leading the way. After thirteen weeks the Texans were 11-1 and appeared to be a top contender for the Super Bowl, But they went on to lose 3 of their last 4 games, and limped into the playoffs and the AFC South title. Matt Schaub didn’t look very good in the playoffs and a lot of pressure is on him and head coach Gary Kubiak to get the Texans deeper into the playoffs. The Texans have added more weapons to offense for Schaub in addition to Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. Defensively, J.J. Watt will combine with LB Brian Cushing to give the team all they should need to win the division again.
2. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts surprised the NFL last season by emerging as a playoff team. However, this season, they will be catching no one by surprise. They have one of the top young QB’s in the league in Andrew Luck, and even though Bruce Arians is no longer running the offense, the expectation is that the Colts should improve offensively as Luck improves. The running game will be better with the addition of free agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw, and the team will at least be adequate defensively. The question is, how will the dynamics of the team work with Chuck Pagano on the sidelines full-time as opposed to Bruce Arians? And also Pagano’s fight with Leukemia no doubt inspired the team’s performance, so will they play as inspired this season?
3. Tennessee Titans: The Titans is now Jake Locker’s team, as there will be no more competition from Matt Hasselbeck. Locker was a top ten pick in 2011, and the expectation is for him to become the franchise QB the Titans drafted him to be. There is good talent at WR and Chris Johnson is still a major threat a running back. However, the Titans must also make big improvements on defense if they want to become a winning team. Head coach Mike Munchak is on the hot seat and must have a consistent season out of Locker. If not then this season may well be Munchak’s last as head coach of the team.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bad uniforms aside, the Jaguars are still teams that needs to add more talent before they can become a contender to win the division. Blaine Gabbert remains as the starting QB, and while he has looked good in the preseason, he has yet to prove that he can be the kind of the QB the Jags need to compete in the division. RB Maurice Jones-Drew returns from an injury plagued 2012 season, and his presence should help the cause. But rookie head coach Gus Bradley will have his hands full just trying to win games, let alone make the playoff.
- 2013-2014 NFL Preview: AFC South (wordsofwistim.wordpress.com)
- Antonio Smith Suspended By NFL: Texans DE Out For Opener, Last 2 Preseason Games (huffingtonpost.com)
- Tennessee Titans: 6 Make or Break Games in 2013 (titansized.com)
- NFL 2013: AFC South Preview (eliasmcmillanblog.wordpress.com)