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NFL Divisional Preview: AFC South

The AFC South is the division that many around the National Football League are projecting as the worst in all of the National Football League. The AFC South has one team that many feel will make a strong run in the postseason. For the Indianapolis Colts, they got to make sure they go about their business and continue to get better. Several experts are looking at Andrew Luck as a guy ready to lead his team to the Super Bowl. While we want to see more out of Indianapolis to claim that, we certainly feel they are the class of the AFC South. The rest of the division contains Jacksonville, Tennessee and Houston, all teams that need to improve this season.

A season ago, Indianapolis ran away with the division at 11-5. This year appears to be the same. The Colts will give Trent Richardson plenty of looks at the top running back choice for a full season. Hakeem Nicks was a huge addition for Indianapolis, as he appears to be Luck’s deep threat now. The Colts lost Donald Brown, but welcome back top receiver T.Y. Hilton from a season ago. Andrew Luck saw Hilton for over 1,000 of his 3,822 passing yards. The Colts defensively will look to get by the first four games with defensive end Robert Mathis. Mathis played in all 16 games a season ago, recording 19.5 sacks. Don’t be surprised if the Colts make a deep postseason run in 2014.

Next in line appears to be a log jam between Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee. We will go with the Houston Texans. Houston still has talent, and now have a new head coach. The Texans were awful a season ago, but were able to add a defensive stud in Jadeveon Clowney. Houston on the offensive end will turn to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, after letting Matt Schaub go. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster appear to be the top threats for Houston, while tight end Garrett Graham hopes to be a big part of the offense. Houston opens the season at home against another team which struggled a season ago, the Washington Redskins.

The Jacksonville Jaguars won just four games a season ago, and of course hope for improvement in 2014. Jacksonville starts the season with two road games; at Philadelphia and at Washington. Those will prove to be challenges for quarterback Chad Henne. Along with Henne in the offense will be running back Maurice Jones Drew and a receiving core of Cecil Shorts III and Marquis Lee. Defensively for Jacksonville, they will look to patch work together starting with middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. Jacksonville will struggle to win more than four games in 2014.

Last, the Tennessee Titans are coming off a 7-9 season. Last season they were the only threat to Indianapolis in the division, but they do not appear to be that this season. The Titans will send Jake Locker out behind center once again. Locker will be teamed with running backs Shonn Greene, Bishop Sankey and Collin Mooney. The receiving core for Locker comprises of Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Justin Hunter. Defensively for Tennessee Bernard Pollard looks to improve the back end, while Al Woods and Derrick Morgan make up the front ends. Tennessee will open their 2014 season at Kansas City on September 7th.

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