Today's question: Is there any reason to believe there's a team capable of dethroning the Colts after back-to-back undefeated seasons in the division?
Tania Ganguli, Houston Texans: I think it'll be tough, but of the teams in the division, the Texans have the best chance. They were close twice last season. In the first meeting between these teams, Houston gave up 24 points in a disastrous first quarter but still only lost the game by only five. The Texans were down to a third-string quarterback who hadn't done more than take scout- team reps all season in the teams’ meeting in Indianapolis, and they only lost that game by only a touchdown. They'll be just as good defensively this year, maybe even better. My guess is they'll be better offensively, although that’s hard to say for certain. Quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer are competing for a starting job. Whoever wins that competition will be an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick, and whoever loses it will be one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks.
Mike DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars: Not in 2015. The Jaguars are more talented than they were when the current regime took over after the 2012 season, but there are still major questions about quarterback Blake Bortles and the offensive line. The Titans were limited offensively as the Jaguars in 2014 (15.9 and 15.6 points per game, respectively), and they're starting over with a rookie quarterback who must make the transition from a spread offense. The Texans are the only AFC South team that will challenge the Colts , thanks to one of the better defenses in the league (19.2 points allowed per game, which ranked seventh in the NFL last season) led by J.J. Watt. But as with the Jaguars and Titans, the issue is at quarterback. The best option at this point seems to be Hoyer. At least he’s more proven than Bortles or Marcus Mariota, but the Cleveland Browns just chose Josh McCown over Hoyer. This division belongs to the Colts.
Paul Kuharsky, Tennessee Titans: Probably not. But I don't think it’s impossible even if Andrew Luck plays all 16 games. Injuries never seem to undo the Colts so long as their quarterback remains upright. You'd think at some point the wrong combination of injuries would impact affect their record. So far, under GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano, that remarkably hasn't happened. For that to change, the wrong combination of injuries would have to coincide with continued growth from Houston, where Bill O'Brien would need to maintain his magic at coaching a good roster with a virtual hole at quarterback. A breakout season from Hoyer or Mallett could have a big bearing. But I'm not predicting one -- are you?