Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 NFL Preview: AFC South

AFC South is an outstanding division and plays a beatable schedule versus NFC East and AFC West

Indianapolis Colts offense is led by the back-to-back league MVP and a fleet, deep WR corps. They are almost unstoppable in the red zone. They have the best pass-blocking line in the NFL but the rushing game remains embarrassingly weak: worst in the NFL. That, and a rising INT total, will continue to cost them championships. A-

Indianapolis Colts defense gives up a lot of yards on the ground, yet limit TDs. They were ranked next-to-last in 3rd down efficiency. They are fast and surprisingly tough on the goal line, but injuries exposed their lack of depth. B+

Indianapolis Colts special teams are not at all impressive, and kickoff coverage ranks 31st. K Vinatieri hopes to return from injury. C

Indianapolis Colts overall are high-flying, dominate their tough division (6-0) and should register double-digit wins yet again. Their clutch, come-from-behind scoring masks an inability to rush, or defend it. Final Grade: B+

Houston Texans offense seems to be modeled after the Colts: excellence at QB and WR, a pass blocking line that can’t plow the run. The Texans score, but need to improve on 3rd down. B+

Houston Texans defense is developing some young talent; they lacked big plays last year. Penalties must be eliminated. Unless the pass rush greatly improves, their CBs are vulnerable. Red zone is a major weakness. B-

Houston Texans special teams are solid in every phase, especially covering punts. Turnover at K shouldn’t be too much trouble. A-

Houston Texans overall will be the best this franchise has ever seen. However, their record versus the Colts is 1-15, and Houston was swept yet again in 2009. They host the Colts in the season opener: should be hot. Final Grade: B+

Tennessee Titans offense is led by a line that blocks the pass and the run. They have the most explosive RB in the game, and a passing attack which is very good by TN standards and is a big asset in the red zone. A-

Tennessee Titans defense is slipping. They continue to lose playmakers and are overmatched in the backfield versus Indy and Houston. They give up 3rd and 4th conversions and too many points. C-

Tennessee Titans special teams lack any return game. However, their K is exceptional. B

Tennessee Titans overall have some positive attributes, and are very scrappy. The defense must be able to keep games close, no easy feat in this division. Final Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars offense underachieved last year. They were fairly efficient, especially on the ground, but also predictable and conservative. Thus, they struggled to score points at critical times. B-

Jacksonville Jaguars defense is hoping that some re-tread players will improve their league-worst pass rush. They were unable to force anybody off the field. This unit lacks an identity and is switching back to the 4-3 after a dumb experiment in 2009. C-

Jacksonville Jaguars special teams were pretty good last year. Their kickers have strong legs but accuracy was an issue. B+

Jacksonville Jaguars overall must make big strides in a high-scoring division. It’s a tall order, but a failure will be the end of Del Rio, Garrard, and possibly pro football in Jacksonville. Final Grade: B-

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