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SNAP CENTRAL | PREVIEWS: NCAA Top 25 | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West | AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
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NFL Pro Football 2012 AFC South Preview

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - AFC South

Rick Gagliano | July 31, 2012

AFC South

Houston Texans

2011 record: 10-6

Predicted finish: 12-4

Head Coach: Gary Kubiak

Departed: QB Matt Leinart, FB Lawrence Vickers, OT Eric Winston, WR Jacoby Jones, FB Jason Ford, CB Desmond Morrow, DE Tracy Robertson, WR Derrick Mason

Incoming: QB John Beck, K Shayne Graham, C Ben Jones, WR Keshawn Martin, DE Jared Crick, K Randy Bullock, OT Nick Mondek, QB Case Keenum, WR Dwight Jones, S Eddie Pleasant, NT Loni Fangupo, TE Logan Brock, LB Derrell Bryant, FB Jason Ford, RB Jonathan Grimes, NT David Hunter, WR Jerrell Jackson, LB Delano Johnson, LB Shawn Louiseau, WR Mario Louis, S Desmond Marrow, RB Davin Meggett, CB Alan Ball, RB Justin Forsett, WR DeVier Posey, G Brandon Brooks, LB Keyaron Fox and WR Bryant Johnson, DE Mitch King

Strengths: Offense. Should Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson remain healthy for the entire season, the Texans will be one of the best balanced offenses in the league, adding to the rushing exploits of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Houston finished second in rushing yardage in 2011. Defense. Third overall against the pas and 4th against the run in 2011, and may be even better this year.

Weaknesses: None to speak of except possibly overconfidence. The Texans reached the playoffs last season by winning the NFC South and look to make it two in a row in a division that's about as weak as any in the league.

Key Games: Sun, Sep 16 at Jacksonville; Sun, Sep 23 at Denver; Mon, Oct 8 at NY Jets; Sun, Oct 14 vs. Green Bay; Sun, Oct 21 vs. Baltimore; Thu, Nov 22 at Detroit; Mon, Dec 10 at New England.

What if?: Matt Schaub stays healthy, how far can the Texans go?

All the way to the Super Bowl. Houston has easily the best roster in the division and will likely vie for the best record in the conference. They catch Baltimore and Green Bay at home in successive weeks before their bye and have a trio of away games in a row against Detroit, Tennessee and New England which should make or break their season.

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Tennessee Titans

2011 record: 7-9

Predicted finish: 8-8

Head Coach: Mike Munchak

Departed: WR Donnie Avery, TE Daniel Graham, OL Chandler Burden, FB Will Ta'ufo'ou and LB Lawrence Wilson, C Jon Cooper

Incoming: DE Leger Douzable, TE Taylor Thompson, DE Scott Solomon, S Michael Griffin,

Strengths: Experience. Matt Hasselbeck at QB leads an aging squad that needs new blood. Chris Johnson missed parts of last season, but should carry the ball more often in 2012.

Weaknesses: Age. Getting older and the draft didn't help much. Rush defense. 128.4 yards per game was good for 24th in the NFL. Week 11 bye week is a little late to fix anything if problems arise.

Key Games: Sun, Sep 9 vs. New England; Sun, Sep 23 vs. Detroit; Sun Sep 30 at Houston; Mon, Dec 17 vs. NY Jets; Sun, Dec 23 at Green Bey.

What if?: The Titans get off to a slow start?

Wiht New England, San Diego, Detroit and Houston the first four games, the Titans could easily be 1-3 or 0-4, but the following six to seven games are a bit easier. They're likely to be chasing Houston in the division and the back-to-back games vs. the Jets and at Green Bay in weeks 15 and 16 will either get them into the playoffs or an early end to their season.


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Jacksonville Jaguars

2011 record: 5-11

Predicted finish: 6-10

Head Coach: Mike Mularky

Departed: QB David Garrard, QB Luke McCown, RB Deji Karim, WR Jason Hill, WR Kaseem Osgood, CB Reggie Corner, CB Morgan Trent, FB Naufahu Tahi, DE Aaron Kampman, QB Dan LeFevour, S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, DE Frank Trotter, WR Jarett Dillard, WR Nelson Rosario

Incoming: QB Chad Henne, WR Laurent Robinson, WR Lee Evans, WR Justin Blackmon, DE Andre Branch, P Bryan Anger,

Strengths: Rushing. Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the NFL's toughest backs to bring down and will make an impact. Defense. The Jags were a top ten defense in 2011, but

Weaknesses: Passing game. New QB Chad Henne should be able to find rookie Justin Blackmon for some downfield heroics, though he'll be sacked about 35 times this season.

Key Games: Sun, Sep 16 vs. Houston; Sun, Oct 28 at Green Bay; Sun, Dec 23 vs. New England

What if?: Chad Heene doesn't pan out at QB?

The Jaguars will give him time. Henne is a pocket passer and not very mobile, so he needs to get rid of the ball better under pressure. He may not win a lot of games for the Jags, but he won't lose many, either.


Indianapolis Colts

2011 record: 2-14

Predicted finish: 4-12

Head Coach: Chuck Pagano

Departed: QB Peyton Manning, QB Curtis Painter, RB Joseph Addai, WR Pierre Garcon, WRAnthony Gonzalez, WR Blair White, TE Dallas Clark, TE Jacob Tamme

Incoming: QB Andrew Luck, QB Drew Stanton, RB Deji Karim, RB Mewelde Moore, WR Donnie Avery. WR T.Y. Hilton (3.29), TE Coby Fleener, TE Dwayne Allen

Strengths: New blood. Andrew Luck replaces Peyton Manning at QB with many new throwing targets. Coaching. Pagano is a newly-minted head coach.

Weaknesses: New blood. Andrew Luck replaces Peyton Manning at QB with many new throwing targets.

Key Games: All of them

What if?: Andrew Luck is the real deal and gets the Colts going?

He better be, because there's no Peyton Manning around. The Colts will stick with Luck fr a long time as he appears to be on track to make a splash as a rookie.

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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