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Special Edition: NFL Preview: AFC South

1. Houston Texans Projected: 11-5
Houston will finally gain into the playoffs in 2011. After a strong start the Texans faltered and missed the playoffs once more. I like this team though. Matt Schaub has quietly begun one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and has a huge arm. The ground game surprised everyone last season as Arian Foster broke out, leading the NFL in rushing yards. Steve Slaton and Derrick Ward give the Texans more stability behind Foster. The wide receivers still need a little of work even with Andre Johnson. Johnson has good size and speed and makes big plays. Tight end Owen Daniels is a good red zone threat and has wide out-type hands. End Mario Williams has nice speed and has good moves. Houston also drafted J.J. Watt to develope in a few years. The linebacker core is strong with DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing who are both young and great. The secondary is led by Kareem Jackson and the team added Jonathan Joseph. Joseph will replace Dunta Robinson who was a big gap for Houston.
2. Indianapolis Colts Projected: 10-6
The Colts struggled more than normal in 2010 and may actually beginning to decline. Peyton Manning is back even after an only okay season. Manning may be starting to decline or maybe last season was a hiccup. Whether Joseph Addai starts or powerful Donald Brown the ground game will be solid. The wide outs are strong with Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark. Clark is the teams top option for short gains and long yardage situations. The offensive line is getting old but is still good with center Jeff Saturday. The defensive line has always been strong thanks too Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Tackle Tommie Harris is effective when healthy which he has struggled with. The linebacker unit is also good with Gary Brackett and newly added Ernie Sims. Brackett is getting old but Sims is still relatively young and is improving. The secondary is weak now especially at the cornerback position.
3. Tennessee Titans Projected: 8-8
The Titans certainly look a lot different now after releasing Vince Young and firing long time coach Jeff Fisher. Matt Hasselback was signed this offseason from Seattle to be a bridge quarterback for rookie Jake Locker. The ground game will still get the most plays with speedy Chris Johnson. Javon Ringer is more powerful and also has some speed. The Titans believe they have a franchise wide out in Kenny Britt. Other options include Justin Gage, Nate Washington, Damian Williams and rookie James Kirkendoll. The offensive line is led by tackle Michael Roos. The defense has declined over the years especially the line. End Derrick Morgan is still a pass rushing threat and rookie Jurrell Casey stuffs up running holes. The Titans made a smart move by signing tackling machine Barrett Ruud who will immediately improve the linebacker unit. The secondary is led by hard-hitting Cortland Finnegan and safety Chris Hope.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars Projected: 5-11
The Jaguars made the move they believed was right when they drafted Blaine Gabbert to be their franchise QB. He may start or maybe David Garrard will get the start. Garrard has been criticized for his touchdown to interception ratio. Maurice Jones-Drew is a power back and has good speed. Fullback Greg Jones is going to be used for short-yardage situations. The Jaguars don't really have a top receiving option. Rookie Armon Binns, veteran prospect Tiquan Underwood, Kassim Osgood, Mike Thomas and tight ends Zach Miller and Mercedes Lewis. The offensive line is improving with tackle Eugene Monroe. The defensive line is improving with tackle Tyson Alualu and end Aaron Kampman is a threat. The linebacker core is weaker then it's been in recent years even with rookie Scott Lutrus and Paul Posluszny. The secondary is headed by Rashean Mathis.

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