Much like the AFC East, the AFC South really is a division with one powerhouse team, one decent team, and two teams that have potential, but appear to be far behind the division leader. The talent at the top of the Indianapolis Colts is far and above the other three teams, and really the question will be what week do the Colts win the division? The other question about Indy is will they lose a bit of their desire after winning the Super Bowl last season? As far as teams 2 through 4, it’s going to be hoping to simply contend for a wild card.
Indianapolis 2007 Prediction: 11-5 – While they are the champs and will neeed to be knocked off their throne before anyone can overtake them, there is no doubt the Colts do have some questions entering the 2007 season. The biggest question is about a defense that came alive and played lights out during the 2006 playoffs. They lost CB Nick Harper, LB Cato June, DE Monte Reagor, DB Mike Doss, CB Jason David, and LB Gilbert Gardner. Losing Harper and June will hurt, and the team didn’t pickup a CB in free agency and didn’t draft a corner till the 3rd round. The offense will be counted on to help out the “D” during their transition. The other big question will be if the Colts have the focus to do it again. The Steelers came off their Super Bowl and started the 06 season 2-6. While I don’t think the Colts will do that, it will be interesting to see how they come out of the gate in 2007.
Jacksonville 2007 Prediction: 8-8 – Two years ago the Jags won 12 games, but the problem was the Colts won 14. Last year they took a step back, losing 4 of their last 6 and their last 3 to miss the playoffs at 8-8. They have a great backfield, with Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, but questions remain about Bryon Leftwich and if he can get it done and stay healthy. The WR core is another question, as who will step up and start with Reggie Williams? The defense was very hot and cold last season, pitching shutouts at home vs the Steelers and Jets, but failing badly on the road, allowing over 23 points per game. This looks to be another mediocre year in Jacksonville.
Tennessee 2007 Prediction: 7-9 – Last year the Titans overwhelmed everyone after starting out 0-5 they went on a tear, going 6-1 in their last 7 games, mostly due to the awesome play of rookie QB Vince Young. 07 will be a lot tougher on Young and the Titans offense, as they lost RB Travis Henry to the Broncos, and have a serious hole at wide out, where as we speak they march out Brandon Jones and Justin Gage. Young can’t do it alone, but it appears he may have to in order to get the job done. The defense should be better, as the addition of Nick Harper adds nicely to the secondary, but like it or not, they will miss Adam “Pacman” Jones. I just don’t know where the Titans will find points this year.
Houston 2007 Prediction: 7-9 – Realizing that David Carr is not and is not ever going to be the answer, the Texans made a bold move in trading for Falcons backup Matt Schaub in hoping to put up more offense in 2007. The team also grabbed aging RB Ahman Green, and if he can give them anything on the ground, it will be a plus from last year. They are weak at wide out, as after stud Andre Johnson they have no depth. The defense is solid on the D-line, and the secondary is also good with Dunta Robinson, Demarcus Faggins, Glenn Earl and C.C. Brown. This could be a team on the upswing, they may just need some time.