September 7, 2010

NFL South divisions preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

The NFC and AFC South divisions gave us both conference champions last year. This year, it will be hard to repeat, but anything is possible in the National Football League.

New Orleans won last season by gambling on defence to get interceptions and scoring an inordinate amount of TDs that way. This season, they won’t surprise as many teams. Their offence is still super potent, but with another year of tape to watch on them, they can be figured out.

No team has ever repeated winning the NFC South and I’ll hold to that trend. The Atlanta Falcons have built and old-school style team that is tough on defence and will pound the ball on offence. Michael Turner has averaged a TD a game for them since arriving from San Diego and will be their key to victory.

Don’t be completely sold on Matt Moore after his late-season showing last year. He’s not a polished QB and who knows how he’ll react to having Jimmy Clausen breathing down his neck on the depth chart. There has been so much turn-over on this roster, I think it’ll be hard to get consistency and chemistry in the early going and they won’t recover in time.

The Buccaneers have their third coach in three years and quite a young roster. Don’t expect much, with the exception of maybe a few fluke wins down the stretch.

Predictions:
Falcons 11-5
Saints 10-6 *
Panthers 6-10
Buccaneers 4-12

The Colts are still the cream of the crop in the AFC South. Say what you want about Peyton Manning and Indy’s loss to the Saints in the Super Bowl, but they’re still among the best in the league. They’ve even got Anthony Gonzalez back, giving them four good receivers to team with Dallas Clark. Just as long as the depth on their defence can keep them in games, Peyton and Co. will roll.

Many are picking the Texans to finally make the playoffs, but I just don’t see it. Matt Schaub is a good QB, but he’s not very durable. Their running game is a mess and the let their best cornerback walk away. Is that really a recipe for improvement? Signing Matt Leinart isn’t going to help much either.

When the Titans have Vince Young and Chris Johnson on the field, anything can happen. This offence could emulate college’s option style and rack up huge yards on the ground. I’m just not sure how great their defence can do.

The Jaguars should have drafted Tim Tebow. It would have put butts in the stands and given them a piece for the future. Instead, they took a defensive lineman that wasn’t even on some teams entire draft boards and didn’t really improve in any of their key positions. Another rough year in north Florida.

Predictions:
Colts 13-3
Texans 8-8
Titans 8-8
Jaguars 4-12

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