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  • AFC South Thread

    I'll throw down a mini-analysis.

    The Colts are the defending champions. They had an atrocious regular season defense, as seen by their giving up 375+ rushing yards to the Jaguars. Their offense was still world-class. Going into the postseason, many left them for dead. But their defense got a spark in the postseason, and rode this wave to the world championship. This year is going to be very interesting for them. They haven't done much of note in the offseason, and the question is if they can still play at a championship level. Teams having "Super Bowl hangover" is well-documented. Will that be the Colts' fate?

    The Titans caught fire last year. They started out as many predicted: badly. But then Vee-Wai made some clutch plays, Travis Henry ran like a wild man, and next thing you know, they finish second in the division and just shy of the playoffs. Their defense played well enough in their stretch, but is still a big question mark. They signed Nick Harper and drafted Michael Griffin, but will it be enough? They also lost Travis Henry and Drew Bennett on offense, putting the pressure on LenDale White to perform. will they be the team at the beginning of last year, or the end of it?

    The Jaguars are one of those "what the heck?" teams. They play great at home and against the top teams, but struggle against, well, struggling teams. They've always had a great defense, and this year they had a great running game. The question is the passing game. The receivers have disappointed, never playing at a high level. Byron Leftwich has been oft-injured, and David Garrard was a disappointment. Leftwich was named the starter, and they showed confidence in him by passing on Brady Quinn. The Jaguars signed Dennis Northcutt to be another target (and punt returner), and Tony Pashos to pass protect, so the Jaguars are attempted to help the passing game out. Can Leftwich step up this year, as well as the receivers?

    The Texans can beat the Jaguars, but that's nearly it. The team showed slight improvement from the year before, but they still have a lot of holes. They have never been a good team in their history, but the offseason is geared towards being one. They traded for the sexy QB prospect Matt Schaub after cutting David Carr. They drafted young stud DT Amobi Okoye to further solidify their defensive line. They also signed proven-vet RB Ahmad Green to finally give them a running game. Will this be the year the Texans make some noise?

    by BoneKrusher
    <DG> how metal unseen
    <TheUnseen> Drunken Canadian Bastard: There's an APS for that

  • #2
    Damn you. I was going to do this after Finals Week. Good analysis, though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Colts:

      The Indianapolis Colts, like Unseen painfully mentioned, had a myriad defense throughout most of the regular season but caught fire during the playoffs. Was it the chip on the shoulder theory, luck or just improved skill? Whatever it was, the Colts need to do it again. They do lose their two starting CBs in Jason David (Saints) and Nick Harper (Titans) but they have a plethora of young talent including 2005 first rounder Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden who solidified the Super Bowl with a late pick off Rex Grossman. Hayden entered the NFL as a raw prospect but has shown adjustment in the past season with Leslie Frazier (new DC of the Vikings) and Jackson has starter's experience. Behind them is 2nd-year man Tim Jennings, TJ Rushing, and rookies Daymeion Hughes and Michael Coe.

      The main concern of the Colts is still the linebacker squad. Rob Morris paid major dividends at SAM after replacing Gilbert Gardner but Morris isn't getting any younger and who knows if he continues his play. Gary Brackett is the leader of the defense and has played solid but often did miss tackles last season. Cato June departed to Tampa Bay and Freddie Keiaho will most likely take the place of him. Keiaho has earned rave reviews from the coaching staff but will that transition to the playing field?

      The defensive line is also an area of concern. You know what you are going to get with Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Anthony McFarland but if Raheem Brock wants to continue being a UT; he'll need to take on blockers better and gain a better inside rush. If Brock can develop (or Quinn Pitcock), then I feel that this could be a potential devastating D.

      When your offense is lead by Peyton Manning, good things are expected to come. To be honest, I feel Peyton could very well hit 35+ TDs with the drafting of WR Anthony Gonzalez to the slot. Gonzo is set to be an excellent compliment to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne (as well as Dallas Clark) plus, this could be the revival of the "Pick Your Poison" theme that we say in 2004. The OL is aging but isn't really showing the signs of it and the heir apparent at LT Tony Ugoh, will most likely start at OG this year in place of Ryan Lilja. Charlie Johnson also may receive some extensive playing time this season as Ryan Diem continues to battle injuries.

      Projected Record: 11-5, 12-4

      Jaguars:

      I've learned to highly respect the Jags fans on here and while I still hate them, I really think they can take the AFC South. But that begins and ends with QB Byron Leftwich. If Leftwich can just stay healthy, maybe we all will see the development of the true successor to Mark Brunell.

      But the keys to Leftwich's success (other than being healthy) is the development of the passing game. Reggie Williams really showed flashes of being a solid WR in the beginning of the season but had difficulties once David Garrard stepped in. Matt Jones, a physical specimen, could still break out but this may very well be a "make or break year for him". Dennis Northcutt, a veteran from the Cleveland Browns, adds a speed element to the passing game which should help. Marcedes Lewis also can become a force in this league if he can again, stay healthy.

      The OL is improved as Khalif Barnes developes and with the signing of Tony Pashos from Baltimore. An underrated force.

      Now the defense is creeping up a bit in age (well in some parts--Mike Peterson, Donivan Darius) but is really a force. The DL is solid with the two big uglies in the middle with Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. The DEs are going to have to be relied upon this season though in order to slow down opposing defenses again. The secondary is also looking good with rookie Reggie Nelson and STUD CB RaShean Mathis in tow.

      PROJECTED: 9-7, 10-6; possible champions at 12-4.

      Texans / Titans to come later.
      Is that a rash?



      Give JKPIGSKIN credit for this masterpiece

      Comment


      • #4
        Me and BBD are both on the 'Houston Texans' will surprise people' bandwagon.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Shiver View Post
          Me and BBD are both on the 'Houston Texans' will surprise people' bandwagon.
          I am also a firm believer in that one too. I think that depending on the Jaguars, they can vie for 2nd place in the division. (Of course, the Colts are #1 ;) ).
          Is that a rash?



          Give JKPIGSKIN credit for this masterpiece

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice write-up Unseen, I'll just do some quick rankings to add onto this discussion.

            Passing offense

            1. Indy
            2. Jax
            3. Houston
            4. Tennessee

            Rushing offense

            1. Jax
            2. Indy
            3. Houston
            4. Tennessee

            Defense as a unit

            1. Jax
            2. Houston
            3. Tennessee
            4. Indy

            Division outcome

            1. Jax 12-4
            2. Indy 10-6
            3. Houston 8-8
            4. Tennessee 6-10

            These are pretty rough, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Colts come back and win the division again, I just feel that Defense, and [hopeful] consistency at QB will give Jacksonville the edge.

            I expect a fallout from the Titans, as well as the Texans first non-losing season ever. I also feel that age is going to finally catch up with Marvin Harrison, and that Peyton's best days of being the best QB in the league are numbered. He's 30 now, and even the best to ever play the game decline at some point.

            Originally posted by Crazy_Chris
            It's just a ******* dog By Michael Vick
            Check out the Dailyer Nebraskan
            http://www.dailyernebraskan.com
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            • #7
              Originally posted by jag View Post
              Nice write-up Unseen, I'll just do some quick rankings to add onto this discussion.

              Passing offense

              1. Indy
              2. Jax
              3. Houston
              4. Tennessee

              Rushing offense

              1. Jax
              2. Indy
              3. Houston
              4. Tennessee

              Defense as a unit

              1. Jax
              2. Houston
              3. Tennessee
              4. Indy

              Division outcome

              1. Jax 12-4
              2. Indy 10-6
              3. Houston 8-8
              4. Tennessee 6-10

              These are pretty rough, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Colts come back and win the division again, I just feel that Defense, and [hopeful] consistency at QB will give Jacksonville the edge.

              I expect a fallout from the Titans, as well as the Texans first non-losing season ever. I also feel that age is going to finally catch up with Marvin Harrison, and that Peyton's best days of being the best QB in the league are numbered. He's 30 now, and even the best to ever play the game decline at some point.
              Oh, I don't see Peyton declining any time soon. If he does decline, I think we're talking 4-5 years. Marvin Harrison I could see, but 30 is still "in your prime."

              I'll write up something like jag did later today or tomorrow.

              by BoneKrusher
              <DG> how metal unseen
              <TheUnseen> Drunken Canadian Bastard: There's an APS for that

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Philliez01 View Post
                Was it the chip on the shoulder theory, luck or just improved skill?
                Bob Sanders did a lot of it.

                And people have said Marvin will get old every year, still hasn't happened. Last year he was only 3 yards off from being the recieving yards leader and was 2nd in the league in recieving TDs (only by 1). The year before he finished the season out with a broken arm and was still a top 5 reciever with a cast on his arm.

                I don't worry about Marvin, he's a given, he'll be there, he'll play, and he'll do great. And if not Wayne can carry the load.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm on the "Texans will regret not drafting a guy who can win games" bandwagon. They'll have another top ten pick next year. I'll post my thoughts on the whole division later.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ewing View Post
                    I'm on the "Texans will regret not drafting a guy who can win games" bandwagon. They'll have another top ten pick next year. I'll post my thoughts on the whole division later.
                    You should just get a monkey and teach it to type this, that way you never actually have to come here since you say the same ******* three things over and over again.


                    Nobody cares about your stupid fantasy team.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bearsfan_51 View Post
                      You should just get a monkey and teach it to type this, that way you never actually have to come here since you say the same ******* three things over and over again.
                      Do you just sit around and wait for me to post something so you can *****? Seriously, get a life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Colts in a cakewalk. People like to point out the Super Bowl hangover and I believe in it but I also believe that potential dynasties overcome that. Both Payton and Dungy have put the 'cannot win the big one behind them' and are far more likely to string a few in a row than they are to suffer the hangover.

                        Jacksonville by a smidge for 2nd. QB. QB, QB, people say you don't need one to win a Super Bowl but for the most part, you do in fact need one to compete in this era of great QB's and Jacksonville just doesn't have one.

                        Tennessee is hard to predict. Vince Young is sensational but still inexperienced. He cannot do it all by himself and I just don't think he has enough around him to serious challange for a playoff spot but if anybody can suprise it's Young. We just don't know yet how good he can become. He just might be a lot more special than we all realize.

                        I see Houston as a vastly improved team. People love to criticize the Schaub trade but they never consider that just maybe Schaub was in demand because he's really got potential and might just be better than people realize.
                        Houston looks to be building a great defense and I could see this team suprising a lot of pundits and maybe finishing as high as 2nd place. However, until we see Schaub for a season, we have to place them in last place but I for one won't be shocked if they are one of the suprise teams this coming season.
                        And proud of it!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Titans have an above avg o-line, but who knows how well the RB's will play. I hope the new Henry doesn't bust like most think. But I think the running game will at least be avg behind the o-line.

                          Wade was no big loss (Roby and Davis can be better imo), but Bennett may be difficult to replace if Givens doesn't make it back full strength this year (doesn't sound like he will). Brandon Jones could step up, he's shown some good flashes. But after him, it's all up in the air. Now Ben Troupe could help out that passing game if he stays healthy this year after missing half of last year. They have split him out at WR.

                          VY will hopefully make a 2nd year leap, the coaches say they see the signs of it. But everyone is posimistic this time of year, so we'll just wait and see. His weapons will have to be there for him.

                          The d-line may be about the same. Odom staying healthy should help some. We played a UDFA last year a lot at DE....that hurt. We lost Robaire Smith, but I think he's only marginally better than Starks against the run, and less effective as a pass rusher.

                          LB should be better. Sirmon has retired, and Tulloch or Fowler have to be better. Thornton was hurt much of last year too.

                          I can't see Thompson starting another game at S. Lowry or Fuller (seems more like Lowry) should replace him and can't be worse. Griffin would have to just lie down on the field to not be an upgrade at S, but he'll play CB (for now). Who knows how that'll work out, and I doubt he'll be as good as Pac. Harper was brought in, and should be better than Hill.

                          Overall, with another brutal schedule, and a lot of potential that are only "ifs" right now, I think the Titans only win 5-7 games. Hope I'm wrong.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ewing View Post
                            Do you just sit around and wait for me to post something so you can *****? Seriously, get a life.
                            Do you just sit around and post **** about the Texans? Seriously, get a life.

                            is all 600+ of your post about trashing the Texans?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Unseen View Post
                              Oh, I don't see Peyton declining any time soon. If he does decline, I think we're talking 4-5 years. Marvin Harrison I could see, but 30 is still "in your prime."

                              I'll write up something like jag did later today or tomorrow.
                              I'm not anticipating Peyton's real decline for 3-4 more years, but I just wanted to point out he's on the wrong side of 30 now, and he will decline eventually.

                              And as to the "Everyone always says Marvin will decline but he never does" statement. Everybody said the same thing about Curtis Martin, who had just come off a year of leading the league in rushing, when his fallout happened. It's a young mans game, even the best can't play forever.

                              Originally posted by Crazy_Chris
                              It's just a ******* dog By Michael Vick
                              Check out the Dailyer Nebraskan
                              http://www.dailyernebraskan.com
                              421 Witness
                              756*

                              Comment

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