OK no bad southern accents for y’all this time. Alright – I’m done for serious this time. The AFC South is definitely on its way up with the reigning champs in Indy, Vince Young, the big defense of Jacksonville and the Texans are slowly putting together a team worth looking at every once in a while well at least reading the score on the ticker.
I think this Peyton Manning guy is pretty good and apparently Marvin Harrison can get his hands on a few balls for touchdowns. What do you think? The defending Super Bowl champs will continue their offensive onslaught. However, Peyton may have to step up his timing a bit and throw sooner with his blindside not being as protected as years before since Tarik Glenn retired and rookie Tony Ugoh is now being asked to protect the best quarterback in the league. Look for a lot of blitzes to be coming from the left side and Dallas Clark catching a few more passes. Joseph Addai will continue his strong rushing assault to keep them honest. Safety Bob Sanders will be back from surgery and with a full season from him and another strong performance from Linebacker Cato June look for the Colts to be back in the playoffs to defend their championship. However, hopes of an undefeated season that we have been teased with lately will end early this year and look for the Colts to finish with an 11-5 record.
Wunderlick what?! Vince Young is the man and will only get better. His upside seems better than other running quarterbacks. During preseason he has looked comfortable scanning the field and finding open receivers instead of running after his first option is covered. But defenses need to look out because when everyone is covered that means #10 is open and he can run. They need to strengthen their running game to keep a spy off of Young. Their wide receivers are adequate but with Norm Chow at offensive coordinator they come out looking better than they are. 0-5 to start last year and almost making the playoffs! Look for Music City to make a run at the Wild Card with Nick Harper sharpening up their secondary. The Titans will finish the season with a 9-7 record.
Jacksonville is a mediocre team that will finish with a mediocre record. They don’t have any offensive superstars that jump off the page at you but a bunch of solid players that know the fundamentals. Guess where the Jaguars have to answer questions. Did you figure it out? I’ll give ya a hint. They have yet to answer this same question that has plagued them for years – yup – QB. Leftwich and Garrard have a QB rating of around 80 but both throw as many touchdowns as picks. Maurice Jones-Drew was an animal last year but look for defenses to have figured him out a little more. Speaking of defense – Jacksonville has some studs in that department. They ranked 2nd last year and will be just as good this year. This defense and Jones-Drew will take the Jaguars to a 7-9 record.
The Texans have always had the problem of protecting the quarterback and they are slowly addressing that problem with a couple of draft picks but they Matt Schaub will have a similar problem. Don’t look for Ahman Green to have another 1000-yard season as long as he wears the Texans jersey. This could spell trouble for Houston fans (are there any of you out there?) They were 24th in defense and 28th in offense last year and the woes will continue in Houston in 2007. Vince who? Maybe they should have thought about that a little harder. The Texans are gonna struggle to reach 5-11.