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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - AFC South

Rick Gagliano | July 25, 2013

AFC South

Houston Texans

2012 Record: 12-4

2013 Expected Finish: 12-4

Without a doubt, the combination of Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson is one of the most lethal in the NFL, and should the two Texan stars remain healthy throughout the season, there's no reason to believe the Texans won't win the AFC South again and make some noise in the playoffs.

After a taste of success in 2012, the Texans are poised to become a solid Super Bowl contender for years to come, especially with stud RB Arian Foster in the backfield and versatile backup, Ben Tate handling the rushing duties.

Defensively, the Texans are as solid as they come, anchored on the defensive end by all-world J.J. Watt, who is coming off a career year and may be blossoming into a full-grown superstar.

Houston can actually improve in a number of categories on both sides of the ball. If they do, the division will be a walk-over and the rest of the league in a world of hurt.

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Indianapolis Colts

2012 Record: 11-5

2013 Expected Finish: 10-6

Surprising everybody by making the playoffs, the Colts may take a step backwards this season and could finish as low as 9-7 or even 8-8, but the desire is there, and, if the talent emerges, Indy could be a contender for a long time to come because they are one of the youngest teams in the league.

Andrew Luck was a godsend to this ailing franchise, but they didn't seem to miss Payton Manning one bit and should be in contention for the division crown until the very end. However, Luck and his gang won't be sneaking up on anyone this year and there are some serious deficiencies on defense and in the running game, where Vic Ballard came on late in the year and could become a workhorse for what is, essentially, a pass-happy squad.

Colts' brass seemed to want to bolster both offensive and defensive lines via the draft and may come out with some players, but there was nothing special in their picks. Still, Luck will carry the team most of the way, especially if Reggie Wayne can have another season like last year (1355 receiving yards).

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Tennessee Titans

2012 Record: 6-10

2013 Expected Finish: 6-10

What at one time looked like a dynasty building in Tennessee quickly faded when Vince Young imploded and the quarterback position became a game of musical chairs, alternating between Seattle castaway Matt Hasselback and eventual position winner, Jake Locker.

This year, it's Locker's job to lose, though with his extravagant style of play, expect the Titans to turn to former Bills' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick when Locker eventually goes down. Chris Johnson will provide some highlight reel footage out of the backfield, but the Titans look like fodder for the rest of the division, finishing with a 1-5 record against Houston, Jacksonville and Indianapolis in 2012.

Jacksonville Jaguars

2012 Record: 2-14

2013 Expected Finish: 4-12

With either Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne or Mike Kafka taking snaps for the Jaguars this season, odds are that Jacksonville QBs will throw more interceptions than touchdown passes and that Maurice Jones-Drew - a standout running back - will carry the ball more than 20 times in at least ten games.

Jacksonville was a dismal 2-14 in 2012, so a 4-12 finish will be double the number of wins and deemed a success for this ailing franchise.

Copyright 2013, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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