I was taking a gander at NFL Spin Zone (as I do here when trying to get some good football perspective) and saw, much to my dismay, that the guys over there have predicted that the AFC South division will continue to be under the inhospitable reign of the Indianapolis Colts. Realistically, I can see that happening. But, worse yet, they then go on to predict that the Jacksonville Jaguars will only finish with a 4-12 record, good for third best in the AFC South. Fortunately, our beloved Jaguars will (predictably) finish before the hapless Houston Texans.
Let’s see what writer Dan Salem had to say:
I’m lumping the Jaguars and Texans together because both teams will be slightly better than last season, but not better than the average Titans. I like what Houston is doing, rebuilding a team that got completed dismantled. But they are working with a journeyman quarterback and too many holes to keep track of. Its hard to see them reaching eight wins, but anything will be better than last season’s two victories.
Its a similar story for Jacksonville, who barely managed four victories last year. They probably get four or five again this season, but last place is calling there name in the AFC South.
For those of us buying into the hype around the Jaguars following the preseason, this is a cold, hard check of reality. The truth is, the Jaguars are only a few months removed from a 4-12 outing that saw new head coach Gus Bradley improve on the worst season in franchise history (2012) by just two games. As we gear up for the start of the season on the 7th, it’s important to keep that in perspective.
But is it really going to shake up with the Colts on top, followed by the Titans, Jags, and Texans?
Honestly, I don’t know. But I think that Salem is undervaluing the improvements made by the Jaguars and Titans and overlooking the fact that the Texans are just a year removed from a really rather spectacular finish. I don’t think the Texans were over performing two years ago and view last year’s implosion as an aberration more than anything. With two teams righting their respective ships and one possibly returning to form under a new head coach, this division may be far more competitive than a lot of people think.