Tag: afc south

The Houston Texans don’t have a starting quarterback… again

When the Houston Texans signed on to do “Hard Knocks” it was unclear who they were going to choose for their starting quarterback. At the conclusion of Episode 3, Bill O’Brien gathered all of the quarterbacks in one room.

In a span of fewer than five minutes, O’Brien shared that Brian Hoyer was going to be the starting quarterback. After a tremendous season in Cleveland last year and Hoyer’s consistency according to O’Brien, Hoyer seemed like the best choice for the team at that point. Houston’s last preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys really tested them and seemed to make the decision even harder, but now it looks like the Texans are rethinking that decision.

In the Texans game against the Chiefs, the Texans did a pretty valiant job and the score ended up 20-27. However, Hoyer was part of the reason why the Texans ended up losing. He completed 18-of-34 passes and threw one touchdown, but also threw an interception and fumbled the ball. Hoyer’s mistakes could be what gives the advantage to Mallett as a starter.

After the game, Texans HC Bill O’Brien was asked if he planned on changing quarterbacks this week. O’Brien clarified that he will not be making “big quarterback announcement” but instead wait until Sunday. No matter what, the Texans and O’Brien are going to be in a long season if this is just what Week 1 looks like.

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NFL 2015 preview: Can the Texans make an AFC South run? (No.)

Predicted Finish:

Indianapolis Colts (12-4) (1st seed; AFC Divisional Round)

Houston Texans (9-7)

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)

Tennessee Titans (4-12)

A lot of people seem to think the Indianapolis Colts knocking off the Denver Broncos last season to make it to the AFC Championship game was a free pass to get back to that game this season. Don’t count me as one of them. While I think the Colts are still a team on the rise, I don’t think this is their year… not yet anyway.

I love the Colts’ addition of veteran offensive talents Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, and Johnson in particular is an exciting player to contemplate considering how much better Andrew Luck is than all of the other quarterbacks he’s ever played with over the course of his career. My problem with Indianapolis is that they ignored their offensive line, which means that Luck will once again have to throw like crazy because of the lack of a consistent running game. If you have Andrew Luck in your fantasy league, nice pick — he might throw for 6,000 yards this season, but ultimately the Colts need more than that to win it all.

On the flip side, you have the Houston Texans who have a tremendous impact defense and a great running attack — which will probably still be effective, if not dominating, without the services of Arian Foster. The one thing missing in Houston is great quarterback play, but if Brian Hoyer can play at least decent quarterback he might be able to guide the Texans into the tail end of the playoffs.  I wouldn’t bet on it however.

The bottom half of the AFC South is an unabashed rebuilding project. In Jacksonville, the Jaguars lost their first-round pick to injury right out of the gate, but there is still plenty of player development to work on, and the most important aspect (some might say the only aspect) of that is whether last year’s quarterback selection Blake Bortles can be a high-level NFL quarterback. Considering that Jacksonville’s last first-round quarterback pick Blaine Gabbert isn’t even a viable NFL quarterback, this is a rather tall order, but the jury remains out on Bortles even though the guy certainly has the tools. Stay tuned.

In Tennessee, the reclamation project is in an even earlier phase. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota has a ton to learn about the NFL game, and the remainder of the Titans roster is loaded with holes. The only reason I don’t have the Titans finishing with the worst record in the NFL is that their schedule is a bit kinder than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it’ll be close.

Like I said, I don’t have the Colts getting back to the AFC Championship game this year. Despite securing the No. 1 seed, I have them losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round.

Games to Watch:

Week 5 – Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay: This is the third road game in a row for the Jaguars, but it’s against an opponent that’s not as good as them. Good teams win these kind of games. Teams that aren’t ready to win yet find a way to lose them.

Week 6 – New England @ Indianapolis: This is the team the Colts haven’t been able to get past. This game will mean a lot to them if they can pull off a win here.

Week 8 – Tennessee @ Houston: Marcus Mariota is supposed to havean extremely high football IQ.  If he can escape from J.J. Watt with his head still on his torso, we’ll know he’s got the general idea.

Week 13 – Houston @ Buffalo:  The reason I have the Bills making the playoffs while the Texans miss them is this game. If Houston can win it however. . .

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Can aging Texans make the elusive Superbowl birth?

The AFC South features two solid contenders – the Texans and Colts, and two teams that just aren’t in the Titans and Jaguars.  The biggest question coming out of this division is whether the Colts can duplicate their success of a year ago.

Predicted Finish:

Houston Texans (11-5) (3rd seed; AFC Divisional Round)

Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

Tennessee Titans (6-10)

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)

Hit the title/continue reading to read more. . .

afc south season preview 2013

Houston continues to be the very definition of a solid balanced football team.  They run and block well.  They have a capable game manager type in QB Matt Schaub.  Andre Johnson is a great playmaker.  And their defense is outstanding.  But they lack the star power to go all the way.

Star power is not a concern for Indianapolis, where all eyes are on second year quarterback Andrew Luck.  It is entirely possible Luck elevates his game and the Colts are even better this year than last, but I think they take a step back before they take a step forward.  This team is still a work in progress, and they won’t have a last place schedule to feast on this year.

The Tennessee Titans will go as far this season as QB Jake Locker can take them.  This is a make or break year for Locker and a number of other players.  The Titans made improvements to their line and added some weapons, so there is no excuse for the offensive inconsistency that characterized last season.

Despite my dire prediction for Jacksonville, I think they were smart to go straight rebuild and try to add talent overall instead of shoe-horning a quarterback as their first round pick.  They will struggle this year – Blaine Gabbert is probably the worst starting QB in the league – but the good news is they will have their pick of quarterbacks in next year’s draft as they rebuild for the future.

Games to Watch

Week 2 – [email protected]:  If there’s  a worse team than the Jaguars in the NFL, it is undoubtedly the Raiders.  Is it too early to call this the Bridgewater Bowl?

Week 5 – Houston @San Francisco:   This is the third game in a brutal stretch that sees the Texans taking on the Ravens, Seahawks and 49ers.  Can they win two out of these three?

Week 11 – Indianapolis @Tennessee:   This is a pivotal game for both teams.  The Colts can’t afford to lose a road game to a lesser divisional opponent; the Titans need to show they can’t beat a team like the Colts.

Week 15 – Houston @Indianapolis:  This late season game could well be for the division, a playoff spot, or both.  And Indy gets to host it.

[image via Rant Sports]

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The AFC South Will Have 3 Out of the Top 4 Video Boards in the NFL

Today at a “State of the Jaguars” press conference, team owner Shad Khan and other executives debuted a new logo along with stadium upgrades.

One of those upgrades includes a massive overhaul to the team’s video board, which if it’s approved, will give the Jaguars the biggest video board in the league and overall the AFC South will have 3 out of the top 4 video boards in the NFL.

Piss off, Houston. And step your game up, Colts.

jaguars afc south video board

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Blythe is a former sports and entertainment broadcaster who quit it alllllll in order to dedicate more time to her growing digital brands. As a solopreneur based in Jacksonville, Florida, this podcast highlights the ups and downs of managing a side hustle in hopes it can lead to that elusive work/life balance.


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