2013 NFL Preseason Predictions: AFC South (Trifone)
Here are my final year predictions for the AFC South:
1. Houston Texans (schedule): 10-6
I’ve heard some sports media gurus who like the Indianapolis Colts to take over the AFC South this year. I like the Colts to continue getting better, but I still favor the Texans to win the division.
The Texans injuries have kept them from achieving their full potential. Aside from the Colts, I’m not expecting a lot out of the Titans and Jaguars, so that should soften the schedule a bit. If they can stay healthy, I think the Texans might have one more chance to make a run to the AFC Championship.
2. Indianapolis Colts (schedule): 9-7
Andrew Luck had a heck of a rookie year, and T.Y. Hilton emerged as a solid wideout opposite Reggie Wayne. I like the offense to put up some pretty big numbers. My problem with Indy is not the offense, though.
As was the case under Peyton Manning’s regime, the Indianapolis defense has to improve for them to be real contenders. Last year, they were 29th in the league against the run. If the defense can make strides, this team could be dangerous.
Although I’m picking them to win two fewer games than last year, I do expect them to improve. They just have a tougher schedule than last year, when they were coming off a two-win season.
3. Tennessee Titans (schedule): 5-11
The Titans didn’t do a lot of things well last year, as they were 26th in total offense and 27th in total defense. Jake Locker will need to be more efficient to give this team a chance. Locker started in 11 games last year, but threw for only 10 touchdowns while throwing 11 interceptions. Tennessee was 6-10 last year – I expect a similar level of success, winning one fewer game this year.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (schedule): 3-13
I think this team has some young offensive potential. Cecil Shorts emerged as a legitimate receiving threat, and Justin Blackmon clearly has talent. They need consistency at quarterback, and a defense that is going to finish better than 30th in the league. Unfortunately for Jags fans, this team appears as far away from relevance as ever.
All of our contributors will make their division and Super Bowl picks and we will track those on this centralized predictions page.