Super Bowl XLIV was the only game in 2009 that the Colts tried to win, but failed...a 14-0 start to the regular season allowed Indy to rest players in the final 2 meaningless regular season games - both losses...Peyton Manning lost great WR Marvin Harrison, and had the worst running game in the League, but was able to be amazing (as usual)...pen him in for 4,250+ yards and 30+ TD's this season...the Colts drafted heavy on defense, and brought in zero new toys for Manning during free agency, which means Manning will have to help young guys like Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, and Donald Brown further develop...Anthony Gonzalez returns from injury, and Peyton has a great chemistry with Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark...overall we see a TON of talent here...longtime Offensive Line coach Howard Mudd, and longtime Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore are both gone, so there may be slight adjustments to be made on O
|Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis|
PREDICTION...this teams amazing - honestly say it again - amazing - run of 7 straight seasons of at least 12 wins is insanely good...many franchises have not won 12 games in the last few seasons combined, but Peyton and Sons get there every year...AFC South good and has the potential to get really good, in my opinion, as far as being an extremely deep/talented Division...a Division that is about to be on the rise...for the first time in a long time there looks to be a contender(s), instead of the usual pretenders for the AFC South Champs, and Super Bowl runner-up Colts...for that reason I am going to go below the 12 win mark and put the Colts at 10-6...they have the longest current streak of making the play-offs at 8 straight, and this season will surely pump that to 9
I am as interested in how the 2010 season will turn out for the Titans as any other team in the NFL...in 2009 when the team put QB Vince Young back at the helm the Titans regained their relevance going 8-2 in the last 10 games...the O got going, as did the D...
|2,006 rushing yards for Johnson in '09, his 2nd season|
Veteran's Justin Gage and Nate Washington will start at WR, while veteran TE Bo Scaife will also start, but there is a lot of young talent behind them...at WR rookie Damian Williams is solid, and WR Kenny Britt is very talented...2nd year TE Jared Cook will be healthier this season and he has a ton of upside...The Titans have a very good O Line providing QB Vince Young time to find one of these talented targets on every play...it does need to be mentioned in any analysis of Young that he is an X-Factor kind of guy...the opposing defense covers everyone in the patterns-blows up the pocket, Young still scrambles for 13 on 3rd and 8 for a first down kind of guy...
On D the word is that Tennessee is trying to re-acquire DT Albert Haynesworth...the 2009 pass rush (and really their D overall) was very poor so Phat Albert would be an instant help...the real key to the Titans D is the extreme improvement required in the Secondary...Top 10 from last year as far as generating INT's, but they were such an all-or-nothing Secondary as they took chances on just about every pass which either resulted in an INT, or a big reception with room for YAC afterwards (YAC is Yards After Catch) for the opposition...more solid play will be needed in Tennessee for 2010
PREDICTION...looks to me like this team builds on their 8-2 finish to 2009 and get to double-digit wins in 2010...10-6
This team is also interesting...a 9-7 2009 saw the team struggle to 1-5 within the Division which surely cost Houston their first ever play-off birth...in the first 8 games of 2010 they will only play a Division foe twice - both times (week 1 and week 8) it will be the Colts...weeks 2 through 7 feature only 1 2009 play-off team (at home week 3 to Dallas) as the 2010 Texans could be a team like the 2009 Broncos who surprise everyone early with a great record to start the season, but will they put together enough of a finish to the season to finally qualify for post-season play?!?!
On offense there is some talent in the backfield...only 2 teams were worse than Houston in 2009 when it came to running the ball...Adrian Foster used Training Camp to win the starting RB job and will be backed up by Steve Slaton...I was optimistic that rookie RB Ben Tate would figure in to the Texans game plan for 2010, but an ankle injury sustained during Camp will have him out for the season...
|from the U...100+ catches 2 straight seasons|
There is room for optimism on the D side of the ball...2nd year Defensive Coordinator Frank Bush had this team D ranked #13 in his first year, and that was with a down year from star Mario Williams...Texans ranked in the bottom third of the NFL as far as INT's and sacks, but a return to health for Mario Williams should provide a massive boost to the unit...in the Secondary #1 round draft pick Kareem Jackson used Camp to earn a starting spot on the corner
PREDICTION...a repeat of 2009 9-7...and yet again the Texans will flirt with their first ever play-off birth, but I believe they will fall just short
At 7-9 last season the Jags were the last place team in the AFC South...they lost their last 4 games and the thought was that would surely mean the end of the Jack Del Rio era...he is certainly on the hot seat, but he does remain as the man in charge...Del Rio will take over the play calling for the D which will hopefully mean a much more aggressive unit...last year this team recorded a pathetic 14 sacks...not even an average of 1 per game which is yikes...rookies Tyson Alualu and Austen Lane are not listed as official starters, but they may both see a lot of action on the D-Line (especially Alualu)
PREDICTION...interest for Jaguars football in Jacksonville is at an all-time low...if you want to go to sunny Florida and take in a Jags game then good news - PLENTY of seats are available...this is a decent team in a Division full of very good, to great teams...a repeat of 2009 7-9 will be tough...I am going with a 6-10 season which would surely result in a regime change in Jacksonville
check out the other Division previews too...send me an email with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org