2011-12 NFL Preview: AFC South
The Texans go through a roller coaster season. Running back, Arian Foster tries to play through his injury in week one . . . and regrets it. Foster is out for the majority of the season. Quarterback, Matt Schaub throws twenty interceptions. Head Coach, Gary Kubiak, nearly gets fired and wide receiver, Andre Johnson, reportedly wants out of Houston. Somehow though, the Texans manage to win nine games, including both games against the Colts, due to their improved secondary and linebackers Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans, and Mario Williams. New Defensive Coordinator and former Cowboys’ Head Coach, Wade Phillips, would win the Defensive Coordinator of the Year Award . . . if there was one.
The Colts won’t have their typical Colt season. Payton Manning plays in his first game during week two, yet throughout the entire season, his neck bothers him. Dallas Clark, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday, Adam Vinatieri, and Reggie Wayne all experience drops in production. At some point in the season quarterback, Kerry Collins wishes he had stayed retired. In Collins’ only start of the year, he’ll struggle in week one at Houston.
Head Coach, Jeff Fisher turns Vince Young around and the Titans have a monster season! Wait, what’s that? They got rid of both of them? Ohh, that was dumb. On a serious note though, if it wasn’t for running back, Chris Johnson, the Titans would be absolutely screwed. Quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck struggles and as a result, first-round draft pick, Jake Locker starts the majority of the Titans’ games at QB. Also, look for cornerback, Cortland Finnegan to have over five interceptions this season.
The Jaguars won’t play nearly as bad as their record might say. They have to play at New York (Jets), Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. Running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, will get less touches this year, resulting in about 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. While those are solid numbers, those aren’t up to par with MoJo’s standards.
Quarterback, David Garrard will have an excellent season making the Jags ask themselves, “Why did we draft Blaine Gabbert?” The Jaguars’ defense though, while improved, will cause them to lose many close games. Yet, now that the Jaguars are without Garrard, they are screwed and simply playing for the future.