2007 AFC South Preview

2007 AFC South preview from MadduxSports.com. In addition to the excellent editorials we write the backbone of our company are winning NFL Football Picks. Also if you are betting football check out the NFL lines page with up to date football odds from multiple sources.

AFC South Division Preview
By Adam Barone

1. Colts: Rising from the ashes that the league’s worst rushing defense seemed to have left them in, the Colts surprised everyone last season and won the Super Bowl. Repeating that feat again this season will be extremely difficult, considering the AFC competition. The AFC South, however, is basically Indy’s to lose. Their overall record will likely put them atop the South’s standings easily, but I find it interesting that they only went 3-3 in ’06 against inferior competition. The Colts beat the Titans, Jaguars and Texans in Indianapolis, but lost on the road to all three. Losing to Jacksonville should not surprise anyone simply because of the Jags’ running game and Indy’s regular season inability to stop even the most inept of rushing attacks. But losing to Houston and Tennessee before steamrolling their way to the Super Bowl title remains a genuine head-scratcher. Their rush defense couldn’t possibly be any worse than last year, leaving the only direction for it to go being up. Even if the D struggles again, the three division opponents are too weak to pose any challenge for the Colts. I have them winning the division at 12-4 again.

2. Jaguars: Of the Colts division mates it’s easy to chose the best, that is, the least bad. Jacksonville finished at 8-8 last season and added former Florida Gators’ S Reggie Nelson to their defensive backfield. They still have Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew comprising their running game, which will be the focal point of their offense. The big question mark is at quarterback. Byron Leftwich played in only six games last season and his health is the concern going into this year. If he’s not healthy, or if he falters, then David Garrard could be the starter. Neither man is seen as a top-notch NFL quarterback, and their selection of receivers is rather limited, so the passing game is almost certain to struggle. The running game should carry the offense, and the defense is one of the best in the AFC, so there’s little chance they’ll finish any lower than second. If they can somehow bring the aerial attack together then they could have a shot at the playoffs. I can only see them improving one game over last season, moving to 9-7.

3. Texans: The Houston Texans have not gotten off to a very good start as a franchise, and still seem like they can’t get out of their own way. Their roster would look much more promising going into the season if it had Reggie Bush listed in the offensive backfield, but it doesn’t. The Texans will just have to rely on newly signed Ahman Green, along with Ron Dayne, Samkon Gado, and Wally Lundy. After giving up on former number one overall pick David Carr, the Texans traded for Falcons backup Matt Schaub. Schaub will need some time to get accustomed to the new offense, and comes in as basically a rookie, having started only two games in his career. He’ll certainly find that he enjoys having Andre Johnson as a target. The defense has some young playmakers in MLB DeMeco Ryans, DE Mario Williams and rookie DT Amobi Okoye. I see the Texans getting it together just a bit and clawing their way to 7-9.

4. Titans: The real competition in the South will be for the cellar. The Titans will challenge the Texans for the honor of occupying the bottom floor, and even with Vince Young running the offense they’ll probably wrestle it away. Tennessee went 8-8 last year with a bad team that should have probably gone about 6-10, but somehow Vince Young led them to .500. They went 4-2 in the division, which is a reason to be optimistic, especially with Jeff Fisher running the show, but they lost so many offensive weapons from last year that it’s going to be tough to even make it close to .500 again in ’07. Travis Henry, Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade are gone, and the players at the skill positions have virtually no experience. Losing Pacman Jones, one of their best defenders, will be a distraction and leave a hole that will not be filled. The defense overall isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either. The best I can see the Titans being is 5-11, but 4-12 is more likely. They should make a strong bid for the number one overall draft pick next April.

We have broken down each AFC South team even further to give you the edge this season. Read the individual football previews of the Colts, Jaguars, Titans, and Texas from Maddux Sports.


2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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