Peyton Manning and the Colts have been the class of the AFC South for many years now. This year they might remain at the top of the division, but their grip is tenuous. The Texans and the Titans are coming strong, and pretty soon old pepper Peyton won't be able to keep them down. I like one more year for the Colts at the top of the heap though. Let's see how the rest of the AFC South shakes out in TPLIYP's return from New Mexico football preview.
1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Colts enter 2010 with the tried and true formula of Peyton Manning at the helm on offense. This year though, he has an even larger array of weapons at his disposal with Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark all healthy. Not to mention, Donald Brown and Joseph Addai in the backfield. This offense is primed for another very good season to say the least. On defense, the Colts look to take a step back. Bob Sanders can not shake the dreaded "injury prone" label, and Dwight Freeney is on the downside of his career. Look for this team to give up more points than in the past, but still score enough points to win games, and the division. I see the Colts going about 11-5 and quickly exiting the playoffs.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS
The Titans shrugged off an 0-6 start last year to manage a respectable 8-8 record. Now it appears that Vince Young is finally ready to lead this team. Vince Young is a consummate winner, and with him starting for a whole season I like the Titans chances of making the playoffs. On offense, there might not be many household names other than Chris Johnson and Vince Young but this team will score points. Kenny Britt is ready to break out, and Justin Gage and Bo Scaife are reliable targets. This offense will get the job done, I'm as sure of it as I was that the Texans would make the playoffs last year. Brilliant.
On defense, the Titans are again a group of no names. Again though, they will perform. Look for DE William Hayes to have a defensive MVP type season and lead the Titans to about a 10-6 finish, and possibly a wild card berth.
3. HOUSTON TEXANS
Last year, I was certain that the Texans would make the playoffs. This year, I'm not so sure. They have pretty much the same team as last year, so why should anything be different? On offense, the only differences between this year's team and last year's team is a healthy Owen Daniels at TE and rookie Arian Foster at RB. Maybe this will be enough to get them over the hump, but I think with Matt "Stump the" Schaub at QB the Texans are doomed to go 9-7 again.
On defense, the Texans are almost exactly the same as a year ago. However, they will be without the talents of Brian Cushing for six games. The most important question for this defense is; "Which player will Bernard Pollard put out for the season in 2010?"
4. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Though the Jaguars might not win any championships anytime soon, there is one title that they seemingly always win and this year is no different. The Jaguars are once again the blackest team in all of football. Brad Meester and Aaron Kampman are the lone whities on either starting side. On offense, MJD will once again shoulder the load for a lackluster squad and the Jagoffs will not be able to compete with the rest of the fire-power in the AFC South.
This team could be on the rise on defense, but not quickly enough to compete. Their defensive line of Tyson Alualu, Derrick Harvey, Aaron Kampman and Terrence Knighton should be very stout against the run though. Overall, the Jaguars might be a little improved, but it won't reflect in their record. I see them going 6-10 and perhaps ushering in a new coach and a new QB at season's end.
Only three more shitty divisions to get through until we can get to the AFC and NFC East. Onward and upward!