Today's question: Who will win the AFC South and how many teams from the division will make the playoffs?
Tania Ganguli, Houston Texans: The Colts will win the division for the third straight season, but the Texans will also make the playoffs. Indianapolis has an elite quarterback (let’s not argue about the definition) and he’s got an excellent supporting cast around him. The Texans have a good shot of beating the Colts at least once this season -- it’s only ever happened four times -- but I believe the Colts will still win the division. I do believe Houston will improve upon last season’s near miss and get into the playoffs. Their defense will be just as good as last season’s defense, possibly better, and their offense will improve as they’ll be getting an upgrade at quarterback regardless of who wins that job.
Mike Wells, Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are on their way to being back-to-back-to-back AFC South champs. The Colts should have their best overall team in quarterback Andrew Luck’s young career. They added running back Frank Gore, receiver Andre Johnson, linebacker Trent Cole, defensive lineman Kendall Langford and offensive lineman Todd Herremans through free agency. And they selected receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round of the draft. Don’t be surprised if the road to the division title continues to go through Indianapolis as long as Luck is quarterback for the franchise. Not only will the Colts be the lone team that makes the playoffs in the division, they may be the only team with a winning record in it. Jacksonville and Tennessee are still in the rebuilding phase and the uncertainty at quarterback in Houston could have the Texans hovering around the 8-8 mark next season.
Mike DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars: Though each team has made strides, the division still belongs to Indianapolis. The Colts’ offense got even more explosive with the addition of Gore, Johnson and Dorsett; Andrew Luck is the game’s best young quarterback. T.Y. Hilton is a blossoming superstar, too. Teams are likely going to have to put up a lot of points to beat the Colts, and the other teams in the division don’t yet have the firepower to do so. Only one has the defense that could potentially slow the Colts. The Texans, which already have J.J. Watt, will benefit from the return of Jadeveon Clowney and the addition of Vince Wilfork. Houston made a solid turnaround in Bill O’Brien’s first season, going from 2-14 to 9-7, and the Texans put up another winning record and earned a wild-card spot.
Paul Kuharsky, Tennessee Titans: The Colts will win the division for the third year in a row, I expect. I think Houston can make a charge for a wild-card spot; the Texans barely missed last year. They have what looks to be a very favorable schedule. While quarterback is a big issue, there is an awful lot of talent at a lot of other spots on the roster. O’Brien and his staff did outstanding work in their first season and showed they can figure out ways to win working around the quarterback, which is a very big deal. To get into the playoffs, they could need a sweep of the Titans and Jaguars like they got in 2014.