2015 NFL Football Betting – AFC South Preview
The NFL season is two months away. The AFC South, unlike a lot of other divisions in the league, appears to be one-way traffic. Can any underdog get in the way of the big favorite?
AFC South Preview
This is a division which appears to be controlled by one team and one team only: the Indianapolis Colts. The Houston Texans were seen as a Super Bowl contender a few years ago, but they’ve dramatically fallen off the pace. They were better than expected last season, but they are still taking the field with relatively unproven quarterbacks who have not achieved much in the NFL. Houston’s offense is going to place a ceiling on what the Texans have achieved, even though J.J. Watt, probably the single best player in the NFL, resides on Houston’s defense. The Texans will have to win every game 16-13 or 17-14, but that’s obviously not a reasonable expectation. If Houston maxes out, it could win 10 games.
The other challengers to the Colts are in even worse shape. The Tennessee Titans watched Jake Locker retire. This means that Zach Mettenberger will make a run at the starting quarterback spot, which is bad news for this organization. Mettenberger has a big-league arm, but he’s very young and inexperienced, and his days in college at LSU showed that he is not a quick study. He needs a lot of time and repetitions in which to be able to read what defenses are doing. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt, in his second season, is a quarterback guru, but the detail which gets lost on people is that he’s more of a veteran quarterback tutor. He and Kurt Warner helped the Arizona Cardinals make their only Super Bowl a few years ago. Whisenhunt might not be a good match for Mettenberger, and if Tennessee can’t find other options, this season is going to go downhill in a flash.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to be mired in misery and ineptitude. Blake Bortles, like Mettenberger in Tennessee, just can’t be expected to learn or do everything right away. He’s a player who, in a realistically positive scenario, will be a quality quarterback in two seasons, but not any sooner. With Chad Henne backing up Bortles, the Jaguars just don’t have anything to look forward to on offense this season. The not-yet-proven T.J. Yeldon is their likely starter at running back. That’s not how a shaky passing game should be supported. Jacksonville remains in deep trouble as a franchise.
The Colts are such a clear favorite in this division because of the moves they’ve made in the offseason, moves they made in response to getting pounded by the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. Andre Johnson is now a starting wide receiver. Frank Gore is now the starting running back. This team acquired big names to give quarterback Andrew Luck a lot more to work with. Even if the Colts fall short of where they should be, they should still win 10 or 11 games. This team’s floor is Houston’s ceiling. The Colts should be able to win the division comfortably, but if they don’t cruise, they should still edge out the Texans when it matters.