Tagged: NFL

2011-12 NFL Preview: AFC South

Houston Texans

Projected Record: 9-7 (Division Winner, 4th Seed in the AFC)

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.

Indianapolis Colts

Projected Record: 9-7

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.

Tennessee Titans

Projected Record: 7-9

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.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected Record: 5-11

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.

Photo Credits

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Peyton Manning and Kerry Collins

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2011-12 NFL Preview: AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected Record: 12-4 (Division Winner, 2nd Seed in the AFC)

Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger struggles at time this season, but running back, Reshard Mendenhall sets career highs in rushing yards as well as rushing touchdowns. The Steelers’ defense, continues to lay down the law and put up big numbers. Look for linebacker, James Harrison to struggle this season though, while cornerback Ike Taylor will set a career high in interceptions this season.

Baltimore Ravens

Projected Record: 11-5 (Wild Card, 5th Seed in the AFC)

Joe Flacco puts up huge numbers this year passing the pigskin to Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans. At the end of the year, people put him in the same class as Ben Roethlisberger. As for the running backs, Ray Rice does his thing and offseason addition, Ricky Williams gets the job done when asked. The Ravens get two of the biggest steals in the draft in cornerback, Jimmy Smith (26th pick) and wide receiver, Torrey Smith (58th). Like their rivals in Pittsburgh, Ray Lewis and his friends dominate on defense. The Ravens win a wild card, despite having the third best record in the AFC.

Can Joe Flacco and co. win the AFC North for the first time since 2006, or will the Steelers beat them once again?

Cleveland Browns

Projected Record: 6-10

Quarterback, Colt McCoy takes major strides in his second season in the National Football League. Peyton Hillis is not affected by the Madden curse and Joe Thomas continues to be the best offensive lineman in the game. That’s about the only positive news coming out of Cleveland this season though.

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Record: 5-11

If the Bengals had any other starting quarterback in the NFL, their young group of wide receivers (Andre Caldwell, A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley, and Ryan Whalen) would be among the best in the NFL, but Andy Dalton will be throwing them the ball, most likely, this season. Look for safety Taylor Mays to surprise people, this year. Carson Palmer does indeed play this season, yet it is for a playoff contender who after having their starting quarterback go down with an injury, makes the Bengals an offer they can’t resist.

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Joe Flacco Being Sacked