This is a blog that I have been looking forward to writing ever since I completed the NFC North blog a few weeks back. But I am dragging today, and not feeling so gun ho about slapping the keys on the keyboard to type this one out. I will make this happen though, I need too.
Do the Texans take down Peyton and the Colts in 2011?
Since its inception, the AFC south has been all about the Indianapolis Colts with the exception of a handful of years when the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars dominated and won division titles. The Houston Texans, who are the new kid on the block in the NFL, have yet to win an AFC south division title and have been the team that everyone loves to pick as the “it” team but always comes up short.
(Note: If you click on the red colored team name, a link will take you to a web page that will show you strength of schedule etc.)
How mediocre or bad will the Jags be this year? Or will they be a surprise team?
– What a franchise to start this blog off with right?! The Jaguars are the model franchise of mediocrity. They have had their fair share of good times, but ever since Tom Coughlin
left that team. They have had bad draft classes, bad free agency moves and mediocre to bad coaching.
When you look at the roster on this team, the one thing that jumps out at you is the numerous amount of players who are from small schools. Now there isn’t anything wrong with finding hidden gems at small schools or high motor guys. But, when you have a roster that is mostly made up of guys in which you have tried to find the next Jerry Rice or John Randle (small school guys) and those guys don’t pan out.
Then you tend to have what you have in Jacksonville right now. A mediocre team that plays hard and tries to compete, but just doesn’t have what it takes to make it happen on the field every Sunday.
On offense they leave much to be desired, they aren’t very efficient or explosive. They do have a good running game with Maurice Jones–Drew in the backfield. However their passing game is inconsistent with average talent at the skill positions. Mike Sims-Walker is considered to be David Garrard’s main target, but when MSW is the best you have at wide out, then you don’t have much at all.
Defensively they have overhauled their defensive line by getting rid of almost everyone including big John Henderson who is now in Oakland. In order to replace big john, they drafted Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick this year which was a reach. He looks like he will be the real deal as everyone including myself thought. But to draft him 10th overall in maybe one of the deepest drafts since the 83’ draft didn’t make sense.
The linebacker corps and secondary is still iffy. I don’t expect much improvement from this team defensively, neither do I expect a good season from this team or a playoff berth with them having the 5th hardest schedule in the NFL this year and little to no talent.
I see 4-12……….with maybe an outside chance of 6-10.
Can Peyton and the Colts repeat as AFC conference champs?
– The runner up in Super bowl XLIV
is coming back looking to repeat as AFC south and AFC conference champs. Indy has won more games over the past ten years along with the New England Patriots
than any other franchise in the NFL. However, they don’t have the rings to show for it and I think it’s mainly because of two things.
One is that Peyton seems to be a great regular season quarterback but isn’t one in the playoffs. And because talent wise they have never had more talent than the teams that they have competed against in the late rounds of the playoffs except for their Super bowl win a few years ago against the Chicago Bears.
This year the Colts come into the 2011 season with major issues on the offensive line. If they don’t get those issues fixed, they will be in trouble all year long. The key to that team is keeping Peyton Manning upright. If Manning goes, so go the Colts in a major way. With Manning they are a 12 to 13 win team. Without him they struggle to win 4 games.
Indy gets Anthony Gonzalez back this year who is coming off a season ending injury from last year. Having him to go along with Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark will give Peyton multiple weapons to put up huge numbers again. But once again, if Peyton doesn’t have a decent to good offensive line to protect him, it won’t matter who he has to throw to.
Something else that is cause for concern is the lack of a consistent run game. That too could be because of the offensive line. Whatever the cause is for the pedestrian run game, it needs to be fixed. You can’t always win big games by just throwing the ball.
Defensively the Colts will be the same old Colts with a smallish, fast defense that at times can’t consistently stop the run or the pass. They have always had a bend but don’t break defense, that’s just part of a Tampa Two defense.
My question about the defense is can Bob Sanders stay healthy? He has started less games then he has been out for becasue of injury.
I do think that if there was ever a year that Indy was vulnerable in being dethrone in the AFC south, it’s this year. They didn’t really do anything to shore up their defense or offensive line. Their draft class was good by Indy’s standards, but no immediate help was acquired either through the draft or free agency and that’s not good for an aging team such as the Colts.
Look for Peyton and the Colts to have an 11-5 or 12-4 season.
Which VY will we see this year? The 2010 version or the 2008 version?
– The former Oilers are a team in flux right now both defensively and offensively. After going 13-3 a couple years ago, everyone expected this team to be a Super bowl contender for years to come. Unfortunately in life and in the NFL life happens and the Titans are not the team they once were two years ago.
Vince Young is now the starter at quarterback and it looks like he has turned that corner that he needed to turn in order to become a true NFL quarterback. With that said, the Titans are giving him the McNabb treatment by not going out and getting him legit wide receivers to throw to. They keep drafting these unknown guys whose skill set isn’t anything great.
Chris Johnson is such a great runner that he does open things up for Young in the passing game. But eventually you need to have talent at the wide out position so that you have guys that can consistently get open, make plays and allow Chris Johnson to not have to face 8 and 9 man fronts.
Speaking of Chris Johnson, that’s all that needs to be said about the Titans running game, why elaborate on the obvious? I do think that there is a possibility that he could have an off year or not as great as last year due to the lack of talent at wide out. Defenses will be able to mostly focus on him and not on the wide outs as I mentioned.
Defensively the Titans have a lot of questions that went unanswered during this offseason. They had no pass rush and virtually no secondary last year. To make matters worse, they lost Kyle Vanden Bosch to the Lions and Keith Bullock to the Giants. Losing those two guys will hurt them, they were the heart and soul of that defense.
Tennessee went out and drafted Derrick Morgan to replace Kyle and a few other no named guys who can contribute on the defensive line and at linebacker, but they didn’t address that secondary that was atrocious last year.
I am expecting the Titans to have a very ineffective defense this year, the NFL is a passing league now and if you can’t put pressure on the quarterback consistently or have a secondary that’s worth a darn. Then you can’t do much on defense at all.
With all of this being said, I think the Titans will go 6-10 or possibly 7-9. It could get bad this year at times with all of the issues that this team has right now.
What does Houston's season have in store for them? Will they be in the playoffs or watching them?
– I saved the best team for last, lmao! Just joking people, you can stop rolling your eyes, lol. For real though, the Texans arguably have more talent than any team in this division and more than a lot of teams in the NFL. They just have to learn how to win close games.
The Texans are like that little kid who is bigger and stronger than all of the other kids their age who routinely gets beat up and picked on because they have yet to learn how to use their size and strength to fight back.
Since late February many people in the national media have called the Texans the New Orleans Saints of last year. Now I don’t think they will go to the Super bowl and win it like the Saints did last year because the AFC is much tougher than the NFC. But I do see the similarities between the Saints and the Texans.
The year before the Saints won the Super bowl, they were a team that had a quarterback that led the league in passing, a number one passing offense with a questionable running game, and a defense with talent that for some odd reason couldn’t play consistently. That accurately describes last year’s Texans team down to the “T.”
Last year the Texans lost more games by five points or less than any other team in the NFL. If the Texans can learn how to close games out, they will be a playoff team that goes deep into the playoffs this year.
Offensively they are fine except that they have to get their running game back on track. Last year it was nonexistent with Steve Slaton not playing like he did in 08’ and no one else to really step in and produce.
Rookie running back Arian Foster started the last two games of the season and played exceptionally well. Some thought his late season production may have been an aberration. Nevertheless, in camp and in preseason, he has looked like the real deal just like he did late last year.
If Arian isn’t the answer at running back, then the Texans will have to rely on Steve who has continued his fumbling ways in preseason. Unfortunately they can’t turn to 2nd round pick Ben Tate, he is out for the year with a broken ankle that he suffered in his 1st NFL game ever.
Tate was the guy that many people thought was going to come in and become the starter and give the Texans the type of running game that Gary Kubiak has been wanting.
On defense Houston has lots of talent, but they have had problems in the past with consistently putting pressure on the quarterback. They will need to do that this year with two young defensive backs (rookie Kareem Jackson and 2nd year player Glover Quinn) starting at corner and with Brian Cushing being out for the first four games of the season.
Houston has the dubious misfortune of having the #1 toughest schedule in the NFL this year. The loss of Cushing makes that schedule look even tougher for the 1st four games.
In a season that’s suppose to be “the season” for the Texans to make the playoffs for the 1st time. I see a 10-6 or 11-5 record. At worst 9-7.
Next up, NFC South