AFC South

Ok, I'll be the first to admit it, this whole conference preview thing has not gone as smoothly as I could have hoped for. I didn't have access to the internet all Labor Day weekend, and my apartment's internet connection has been out for two days.

Which means two things. One, I have no idea what has happened with the Bucs recently (I have been so busy I still haven't checked the score of the preseason game).

Two, I haven't been able to post all of the conference previews during my planned timeline. Today, I will preview the AFC South, and (fingers crossed) I will preview the NFC South tomorrow.

Indianapolis Colts (Playoffs)
The Colts are one of the teams I like to make the Super Bowl out of the AFC. Since picking up Dungy the Colts have looked more and more like a championship caliber team. The Colts have been better on both sides of the ball.

Head coach Tony Dungy's talent was always in scouting defensive players (after all he did play defensive back for the Steelers). While the defense will never be able to match the offense, Dungy has brought in talented defensive players. Understanding that the offensive eats up most of the salary cap, Dungy has brought in quick players to add a speed rush to the defense. This startegy makes even more sense considering most of the Colts opponents are passing the ball and trying to play catch-up.

Houston Texans
The Texans are the one team I like to duplicate what the Chargers did last season. They have a solid defense (ranked fifteenth last season) and a talented young offense.

All three players of their offensive trio (QB David Carr, RB Domanick Davis, and WR Andre Johnson) are due for a break year. Carr needs to prove that he was worth a first overall pick The Texans have quietly gotten a little better since they came into the league three years ago. If the AFC wasn't as deep or the Colts weren't in their division I would pick the Texans to make the playoffs.

If the Texans had at least an average line I would pick them to make the playoffs. This is the fourth year for number one overall pick Carr, the year quarterbacks tend to full stride. If he doesn't perform this season he risks being labeled a bust. I think the Texans could pull a Chargers this season if they can get somebody else outside of the big three to perform.

Jacksonville Jaguars
In games decided by a touchdown or less the Jaguars went 8 and 3, and only once did they beat a team by more than a touchdown. They were 29th in scoring last season. Considering that their biggest offensive acquisition is a rookie receiver who played quaterback last year, and that Fred Taylor's groin gets a year older, I don't think the Jags offense is going to get much better.

That puts even more pressure on a defense that over-achieved last year (quick, name the best player on the defense). On top of this comes recent comments by head coach Jack Del Rio that were critical of the media, and I give Del Rio until late November until the local media starts calling for his head.

Tennessee Titans
One word describe the Titans this year. Ugly.

Their first round pick alienates his team mates before even reporting to practice. Players are routinely arrested even after head coach Jeff Fisher warns them not to do anything to embarrass the team. And the best quarterback is second on the depth chart.

Billy Volek- 10 games, 2486 yards, 18 tds, 10 ints, 87.1 qb rating

Steve McNair- 8 games, 1343 yards, 8 tds, 9 ints, 73.1 qb rating

They have two Pro Bowl caliber runningbacks, but expect their young receiver corp to get more of a work load. As much as I respect what Steve McNair has done, he hasn't been the same quarterback the last couple of years. Injuries have slowed the offense (McNair, Chris Brown and Tyrone Calico all missed time because of injury), and I wouldn't be surprised to see injuriies decimate this team again.

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