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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

2016 AFC South Preview


Photo courtesy of Josh Hallett via

In recent years, this division has been regarded as the weakest in football. However, it probably has the brightest future overall.

Three quarterbacks in this division were high first-round picks: Blake Bortles, Andrew Luck, and Marcus Mariota give a glimpse at how competitive this division can become. In this division’s first-round drafts, teams race to become that most balanced team. Every team has pieces, but not the whole foundation. This former “boring” division might become must-watch TV in the very near future.


1) Houston Texans: The only reason Houston is No. 1 that they are the most complete team in the division. Houston signed QB Brock Oswieler in the offense with the hopes of guiding an offense that possesses weapons on the outside like WR DeAndre Hopkins and the recently drafted Will Fuller. Houston’s core is on the defensive side, though. J.J. Watt is a man amongst boys, Brian Cushing is your typical linebacker, and Jadeveon Clowney is showing signs of maturity as he tries to debunk the idea that he’s too injury-prone to be effective. Houston will only go as far as Osweiler and his new contract to take them far in the league.


Key Acquisitions: Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller, Will Fuller (Draft)

Key Departures: Brandon Brooks

Prediction: 10-6


2) Indianapolis Colts: After retaining both head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson after an intense offseason in Indy, the organization launched a philosophy change. QB Andrew Luck has to remain healthy if the Colts are to do anything of importance, so with that in mind, the Colts went out and drafted four offensive lineman. Yet again, the defense for the Colts will be the area that makes or breaks the season. David Perry and Henry Anderson, both rookies last year, have the potential to become a great duo on the defensive line. Rookie center Ryan Kelly has a lot riding on his shoulders, even more pressure since guard Jack Mewhort recently got injured. Last year’s disappointing season was a true wake-up call for the entire organization.  They need to develop a defense and continue to keep Andrew Luck Healthy.


Key Acquisitions: Antonio Cromartie, Patrick Robinson, Ryan Kelly (Draft)

Key Departures: Coby Fleener, Jerrell Freeman

Prediction: 8-8


3) Jacksonville Jaguars: For the first time in over a decade, the Jags are expected to do something besides not finishing in last. Blake Bortles is showing that he is an incredibly solid quarterback, Allan Robinson might be the best WR that nobody knows or talks about, and they continue to sign free gents galore for the second straight offseason. They are essentially getting two first-round picks this year because 2015 pick Dante Fowler Jr. is coming back from an ACL tear. Jalen Ramsey could be the best defensive back in football in the future. The first four games will show the true identity of this team, as they can easily go 4-0 or 0-4. This team is young, but can they compete and win games against the big boys?


Key Acquisitions: Malik Jackson, Prince Amukamara, Chris Ivory, Kelvin Beachum, Tashaun Gipson, Jalen Ramsey (Draft), Myles Jack (Draft)

Key Departures: Stefen Wisniewski

Prediction: 6-10


4) Tennessee Titans: Although this team on the rise, it’s still near the bottom of the league. Last year they were making the correct steps towards improvement, and even though they were the worst in the league, they have a future. They had the No. 1 overall draft pick, and they traded it to L.A. for a King’s ransom. Marcus Mariota needs to avoid the sophomore slump in order for this team progress. Demarco Murray played his way out of Philadelphia and onto the team with the worst record. Look for the Titans to focus on the running game by giving the ball to Murray and Rookie Derrick Henry. Building an NFL team is a step-by-step process, and the Titans appear to be following that mantra.


Key Acquisitions: Demarco Murray, Jack Conklin (Draft)

Key Departures: Michael Griffin

Prediction: 4-12


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2016 AFC South Preview