Why the AFC Should Fear the South
The NFL Draft has come and gone, and here we are reading up on all our favorite teams’ new players. Well, to be perfectly honest, there is only one team I’m concerned about: THE Houston Texans. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
I wanna start by sending a huge congratulations out to every Texas Tech athlete who was either drafted or picked up and signed by a team. You all deserve it! I also want to give a special shout to Baker Mayfield for going to the place where quarterbacks go to die. Congrats, buddy.
On to the main event! Try to keep up, as I'm going to give a brief rundown of why the AFC will be the dominating division next year.
Let’s start from the bottom up.
Without Andrew Luck, the Colts made a hard drop from first to worst in the division. Plus, over the past couple of years, they have been in a state of constant rebuilding, from coaching to management. But it’s starting to look like they may finally be happy with the upstairs roster.
Beware: Luck has been spotted tossing the old pig-skin around, and is rumored to be healthy as a horse once again. Couple that with the signing of 9 out of their 11 draft picks (including no. 6 overall G Quenton Nelson), and you may be looking at the Colts of old once again.
My prediction: They will go 9-7 this season.
Last year, the Titans were also a playoff team even though Marcus Mariota posted his worst QB rating of his career. That stat alone should scare you. Add on the addition of Mike Vrabel as head coach (previously with the Texans as their DC), and new Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur (previously OC with the rams, who’s offense shined last year), and you're looking at an offensive minded team unlike any Tennessee has ever seen.
Watch for Mariota to turn up the heat with his legs this year as he keeps the Titans from sinking.
My prediction: As long as Marcus stays healthy (that's a big if) and off-field issues aren't a problem for any one, the Titans will be 10-6 this year.
The Jags busted a 10-year playoff drought last year with none other than Blake Bortles at the helm. Not only did they break a drought, they did it in outstanding fashion by making it all the way to the conference championship, only to fall to Brady and the boys.
They have one of the best secondarys in the league, and have only made it better this off-season by drafting DT Taven Bryan, who should definitely fit in that catty 4-3 defense they run. If the Jags make a last-minute move at QB, look for them in January. If they don’t? You can still look for them in January
My prediction: They will go 11-5 again, possibly securing them a wild card spot.
THE Houston Texans
Last year, the Texans got off to a rocket-hot start as they showcased their prize possession behind center. Then, the injuries came. Last season's 4-12 finish epitomized just how much injuries can hurt a team, but watch out! The stars are aligning…err...healing, and paving the way for a breakout season.
Deshaun Watson is slated to be healthy, along with other star players such as JJ Watt, who's been spotted out and about telling the world he feels great. This means the Texans could have a real shot at something magical this year.
Coming into this draft, the Texans only had eight picks, none of which were in the first two rounds. Look for the addition of the best slot receiver in the draft, Texas Tech's very own Keke Coutee, to fight his way into a starting position and soon become a go-to for Watson. The 2018 Texans roster has the potential to be one of the best in the conference.
My prediction: The Texans charge into an 11-5 season and make the playoffs. Houston may even have a shot at a 'grand slam' of sorts this year (here's looking at you, Rockets!), even if the chances are slim.
So watch out, Tommy Brady -- your competition in the south has stepped its game up, and all eyes are on dethroning you. This may just be the year we have a Brady-less championship game. So get ready for one heck of a ride come September, because this one is shaping up to be a doozy!