Monday, May 17, 2010

AFC West

The southern US may be considered a hot bed for NASCAR and College football, but don't disrespect the AFC South this year, as it has a lot to contribute. Ok, so you can disrespect the Jaguars. They have Maurice Jones-Drew, probably one of the best all round running backs in the NFL right now, and I think new DT Tyson Alualu was actually a good pick, but two guys don't make a football team. Rashad Jennings is a capable back up to Jones-Drew, so my approach would be to hammer the ball down peoples throats and play keep away from the other three dangerous offenses in this league. But that's just me. What we all actually know will happen is that the Jaguars will persist in trying to make exciting things happen with David Garrard. And they wont happen. They'll fall flat on their face. Again. Same old Jags. Now I want to talk about the Texans. See the Texans are a perfect example of why such early predictions are difficult. If I'd done these predictions a little earlier in the month, I'd have done so before we found out about the suspension of Brian Cushing which obviously will have an effect on their success this season. Oh no wait, I still would have had the Texans 3rd. 'Cause (sorry grammar hawks) I'm not buying the Texans as division champs. In coaching parlance (or maybe just ' coaching parlance') "I'm not drinking the Texans Kool aid". Everyone is comparing them to the 49ers, but there is a huge difference. The 49ers have something called a defense. The Texans don't. What they have is Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans and then 9 other guys trying to fill in the gaps. That is not the recipe for a divisional title. So bring on the Colts. Yep, Manning et al come in at number 2. Why? Well maybe because they're lucky to get this high in the first place. If the NFL ever decides to actually enforce the rules regarding so-called 'pick' or 'rub' plays then the Colts are screwed. When the going gets tough, the Colts go for the 'pick'. Now lets just be sure; screen plays are not picks. I'm talking about plays where the Colts receivers cross one another in opposite directions, doing so in a manner designed - and practically guaranteed - to shake man coverage. After that, all we need is for refs to stop giving the Colts cheap pass interference calls just because Peyton Manning is a poster boy and the NFL loves passing and the Colts would officially no longer be the greatest team in the league like many people believe. I just think the colts are too much of a one trick pony. There thing is speed. Fast, no-huddle offense, taking big chunks out of people. Here's two pieces of advice for teams playing the Colts this year: 1) Back off. I know everyone hates prevent defenses, but against Manning they have a good track record because he doesn't have the patience to keep taking the short stuff. 2) Stop biting on the run!!! The Colts are probably one of the worst teams in the NFL for running the football. Common sense would tell us that play-action by the Colts shouldn't work because nobody respects it. Yet it does work. For some reason teams still persist in giving the Colts rushing attack credit. God knows why. Anyway, down with Manning and all hail the new King of the AFC South; Sir Vince Young. Fact. Without three of their starting four DB's, the Titans D was terrible. Fact. When they got those players back and inserted Vince Young at QB, the Titans were hellaciously good. They finally figured out that Chris Johnson had the skills to carry their team, which he did. With the running threat that Vince poses, the Titans offense has found a groove to match its defense. Though they lost Kyle Vanden Bosch to the Lions, the Titans acquired DE Derrick Morgan in the draft, who I think was only just behind Brandon Graham for quality. I think that end of season run showed the Titans once again what they are capable of. It would have renewed their optimism and reinforced HC Jeff Fishers message to his players about their ability to win. It's not going to be easy and they'll need Chris Johnson on board for it to happen, but I think the Titans have what it takes to topple Indy. So here's the final round up: 1. Titans (winners) 2. Colts 3. Texans 4. Jaguars ------ That just leaves one stop on the tour round the AFC. Trust me (you do, don't you?), if you hated the NFC South prediction and you hated todays, you're NOT going to like the AFC West outlook, because there is another big name about to fall. Till then, have a great day everyone.

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