NFL Preview: AFC South

What once was a one team show is now a competition.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Houston Texans

The Texans will win the South this season, at least that's my opinion. A team that has been steadily on the rise the past few years, Houston has evolved into a complete team behind a solid defense and an offense that features both a solid running game and an above average passing game. There are two question marks for the Texans heading into the season that could mar this prediction. The first is the health of running back Adrian Foster. Foster tweaked his hamstring in the third preseason game and though he claims it isn't serious, those types of injuries have a way of lingering. The second is consistency. The Texans need to play with a high intensity all season long and if they can do that, then they will show they deserve to make the leap into the next level.

Predicted Finish: 10-6


Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning is the key to the Colts season this year, as in every year honestly. There is no team more reliant on one individual than Indianapolis. With Peyton coming off of neck surgery with only a chance of returning for the beginning of the regular season, you have to question whether the Colts will be able to survive without him. The other problem that will stem from this injury is how effective will Manning be when he does get on the field. Yes, Manning is a seasoned vet but even he needs practice time to get his timing down. Could this year be the year Indy misses the playoffs? I say Yes.

Predicted Finish: 9-7


Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans enter this year with a new aged vet behind center. Gone is Kerry Collins replaced by former Seattle Seahawk great, Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck is a solid quarterback who should thrive in a system that features a premier back like Chris Johnson. The Titans also field a defense that can be formidable at times. While they won't finish above .500 in this tough division, they will win some games and give fans an entertaining season.

Predicted Finish: 7-9


Jacksonville Jaguars

To put it simply, when there is a potential quarterback controversy, I don't trust the team to have the right focus to succeed. So, when the Jags drafted Blain Gabbert in the first round of the draft, moving up to do so no less, that sent warning signs all across the board for the Jags. The 2010 season was a huge disappointment for the Jaguars, having lost their final three games of the season to drop out of division contention, and don't expect 2011 to be any better. Though the team made a point to improve their defense via free agency, the quarterback uncertainty just has me feeling that this will be a bust season for the Jags.

Predicted Finish: 6-10