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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

AFC South and West Previews

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AFC South

  1. Indianapolis Colts: My favorite team, the Colts will once again live and die by the offense this year. They have star quarterback Andrew Luck who has solidified himself as a top 5, maybe top 3 quarterback in the league. The Colts spent money this offseason by signing many veterans who have a few years left to play, most notably Frank Gore. The Colts might have the deepest WR core in the NFL, but the main challenges are improving the defense and beating New England. They get the benefit of having one of the easiest schedules in the NFL.

Key Acquisitions: Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, Kendall Langford, Phillip Dorsett (Draft)

Key Departures: Cory Redding

Prediction: 12-4

  1. Houston Texans: There’s something brewing in Texas. The Texans, subject to HBO’s Hard Knocks this year, are blessed to have super-human J.J. Watt leading their defense. They posted a 9-7 record last year with 2014 1st overall pick Jadeveon Clownery missing most of the year. They get him back healthy (maybe) and a starting quarterback in Brian Hoyer. They have parts of a foundation to get over the hump and challenge Indy for the AFC South crown.

Key Acquisitions: Brian Hoyer, Vince Wilfork, Kevin Johnson (Draft)

Key Departures: Andre Johnson

Prediction: 8-8

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville showed some promise last year despite only winning three games. Blake Bortles needs to develop into a much better passer in order to get this team to compete in every game. 2015 1st round draft choice Dante Fowler Jr. will miss the entire season after suffering an ACL tear in his first practice (Only the Jaguars would have that happen to them).

Key Acquisitions: Julius Thomas, Jared Odrick, Dante Fowler Jr. (Draft)

Key Departures: Cecil Shorts

Prediction: 5-11

  1. Tennessee Titans: They have a new face to their franchise, and that would be 2nd overall pick Marcus Mariota. There are questions whether he can be an NFL starter, but realistically he cannot be worse than Titans’ pervious quarterbacks. There is a LOT of work to do with this team, but they are taking the correct steps so far.

Key Acquisitions: Brian Orakpo, Perrish Cox, Marcus Mariota (Draft)

Key Departures: Nate Washington

Prediction: 4-12


AFC West

  1. Denver Broncos: Denver will once again win the west this year. Payton Manning is getting older but still has something left in the tank. There is a lot of speculation whether or not C.J. Anderson is a perennial running back in the league. They’re losing a decent amount of players to free agency in the off-season and the rest of the division is getting better. An AFC West crown will be tough to win this year.

Key Acquisitions: Owen Daniels, Shane Ray (Draft)

Key Departures: Julius Thomas, Terrence Knighton, Franklin Orlando

Prediction: 11-5

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Jamaal Charles might be the NFL MVP soon. He does everything for this team on offense. Jeremy Maclin getting signed should take some pressure off of Charles’ shoulders. Alex Smith doesn’t have to do too much in this offense, just protect the ball. The defense is very stout and should make the race for the AFC west title interesting.

Key Acquisitions: Jeremy Maclin, Tyvon Branch, Marcus Peters (Draft)

Key Departures: Rodney Hudson, Dwayne Bowe

Prediction: 10-6

  1. San Diego Chargers: Phillip Rivers just got his payday recently, yet he hasn’t won the ‘big game’ yet. Draft experts believe Melvin Gordon will be a success in this league, and I also believe he will be a star. All he did in college was destroy records and be an absolute MONSTER. The offensive line is still the main question with this team, which could lead to their downfall.

Key Acquisitions: Orlando Franklin, Melvin Gordon (Draft)

Key Departures: Ryan Mathews, Eddie Royal

Prediction: 9-7

  1. Oakland Raiders: Like the Chargers, the Raiders in the draft went out and drafted arguably one of the most sure-fire NFL prospect in Amari Cooper. In college, it got to the point where teams (Auburn in particular) were triple-teaming him and he still beat them. Other than that, the Raiders signed almost every free agent available. They were able to this because of all the salary cap room they had.  Hey when you only win three games last year; something has to change right?

Key acquisitions: Michael Crabtree, Rodney Houston, Curtis Lofton, Malcolm Smith, Dan Williams, Amari Cooper (Draft)

Key Departures: Tyvon Branch

Prediction: 5-11



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AFC South and West Previews