1.Houston Texans– The Texans won the AFC South for the second time in franchise history. Throughout 2012, I labeled them as the most complete team in football. They had balance offensively, they had a good defense and they were productive on special teams. Arian has really been the rock of this offense and Andre Johnson showed he’s not necessarily done yet. As the season came to an end last year, Matt Schaub struggled. On defense, J.J. Watt put together a season to remember which earned him the defensive MVP in just his second season in the league. This off-season, Houston bought in Ed Reed to improve that secondary and Brian Cushing will be back from an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the 2012 season. The key is Matt Schaub not turning the
2. Indianapolis Colts– They were the feel-good story of 2012. Then rookie head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with Leukemia which forced him to miss a great portion of the season. Many people had the Colts finishing in last place. They were a team that people felt were in rebuilding mode. They release Peyton and draft Andrew Luck with the first overall pick and he went out and showed why he was selected number one. He had a veteran mentality and led the Colts to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. They will pose as the biggest threat to the Houston Texans in this division.
3. Tennessee Titans– Jake Locker has what it takes to be a productive quarterback in this league. The biggest question that’s yet to be answered has been Chris Johnson. It seems just like yesterday that we were referring to him as “CJ2k” He hasn’t been the same since that 2009 season. The Titans have a defense that can be a solid unit if they can cut down on giving up the big plays down the field. The Titans feel they can be a competitive team in 2013 and only time will tell when we see them step on the field.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars– They came in at number 30 on my power rankings list in April and they are in straight rebuilding mode. The Jaguars need just about everything to get back to winning. The inconsistencies at quarterback have been a major issue. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t been what people thought he’d be coming out of Missouri. Maurice Jones-Drew has been hurt which takes away a huge chunk of their offense and on defense they just can’t stop anyone. Gus Bradley takes the head coaching position in Jacksonville and one of his big issues to fix is that defense. He’ll be a year removed from the defensive coordinator position in Seattle and he was a big reason why the Seahawks had a top five defense.
1. Texans (11-5)
2. Colts (10-6)
3. Titans (7-9)
4. Jaguars (3-13)
Barring any injuries, the Texans will win this division for the third straight season. For the Texans to finish the regular season on a strong note, Matt Schaub needs to take care of the football. Turnovers were a big problem for him in crucial games of the season. This defense can improve immensely with J.J. Watt, a healthy Brian Cushing and Ed Reed and that’s a nice trio on defense. As long as Arian Foster is in the backfield, the Texans will win football games.