Hello everyone and welcome to opening week in the NFL. The NFL 2015 season kicks off tomorrow night but before we get there, I thought it might be fun to take a look at each one of the different NFL divisions in depth. We’ll predict the record of each team, who will be the division winner, who’ll be the division loser and which teams will sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard. Let’s get right into it by taking a look at the AFC South.
The Division Winner- The Indianapolis Colts (13-3) (#1 Overall Seed In The AFC)
What, were you expecting something else? Perhaps 13-3 is a bit overzealous but I really like the Colts this year and if you look at their schedule, they may very well start the season 5-0 until their big Deflategate Rematch with the Pats in Indy on October 18th. I really love what the Colts did to improve an already stellar offensive attack with the additions of both Andre Johnson and Frank Gore. You add that in with the addition of Trent Cole to lead the defense with Robert Mathis and the Colts should run right through their divsion. Due to the division being so weak, I think the Colts will ride this all the way to the number one seed in the AFC. The tests for them will be what happens when they make the playoffs, but I’ll get to that on Saturday.
The Number 2- The Houston Texans ( 8-8)
Wow if you can take the Texans defense and mesh them with the Colts offense, it would be the best team ever assembled. With the free agent signing of veteran Nose Tackle Vince Wilfork to go along with the returning Jadaveon Clowney and Brian Cushing and the leadership of JJ Watt, the Houston Texans may very well have the best defense in the National Football League. The question with the Texans is going to be if the defense can score enough points to defeat their opponent. No offense to Brian Hoyer but he proved last season that he just doesn’t have enough to be a winning quarterback in the league. Also while the Texans have a rising top wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, they are really going to miss Arian Foster at the start of this season. Had they had Foster, it could have been the difference in some of these tight games to start the year like opening day against the Chiefs or at Carolina week two. Since they don’t and the plays on offense will fall on the arm of Brian Hoyer, I say they lose those tight games and never fully recover to be in post season contention.
Free Falling- The Jacksonville Jaguars ( 4-12)
I always like a good underdog as much as the next guy but just based on their schedule, do you really see the Jacksonville Jaguars winning more then four games in the 2015 season? First off it’s hard to rebuild when your number one draft pick, Dante Fowler Jr, blows out his ACL and is already done for the season. From there, its hard to rebuild a team who led the league in sacks allowed and did not draft a single offensive lineman. This brings us to the offensive playmakers or lack thereof. I was never a big fan of the Blake Bortles draft pick but they have to commit to the kid for a few years and see what he has. I think they have a few decent wide receivers in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson and I’m interested to see what T.J Yeldon does in the backfield but it won’t be enough to turn in a respectable season and may not be enough to extend Gus Bradley’s tenure. Hey if Bortles really bombs, maybe this could be a landing spot for former Florida Gator…ok I’ll stop.
Bottom of the Barrel- The Tennessee Titans (3-13)
I just listed a cavalcade of problems for the the Jacksonville Jaguars and I’m still predicting someone will finish worse than them? In their divsion no less? Well for the Tennessee Titans, the Marcus Mariota Era is upon us and sadly I think it’s going to start off pretty bad before it has a chance to get good. I’m actually going to go out on a limb and say that the Titans will be playing in Jacksonville on Novemember 19th for their first win. The running back trio of Bishop Sanky (remember him? I know I can’t be the only schmuck who picked him as his second fantasy running back only to be searching the waiver wire for whomever was in Cleveland’s backfield from week to week?), Terrence West (one of said Celeveland Backs) and Dexter McCluster makes me shrug, the wide receiving trio of Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas and Justin Hunter excites me even less and so Mariota’s only weapons really end up being Tight End Delanie Walker and rookie Dorial Green- Beckham (who isn’t even ready) who are not enough. He’ll show flashes of brilliance but Marcus Mariota will likely face more growing pains. The good news is the Ken Whisenhunt has the ole Rookie Quarterback excuse to keep his job.
That’s going to do it for my breakdown of the AFC South. Feel free to let your voice be heard in the comment section below and make sure to hit subscribe as we have you covered from division to division all day long as we get you prepped for opening day tomorrow.