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Old 08-03-2003, 04:00 AM   #1
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Cool Anthony's 2003 Picks: AFC South

1. TENNESSEE TITANS (10-6): Who needs to be America's Team when you can be Timex's Team instead? Yes, they take a lickin' and keep on tickin' - especially QB McNair and RB George - but wideouts need to boost production and pass defense remains a sore spot as well, although it will be a big help if Jevon Kearse doesn't break his foot again like he did in the 2002 opener. Even so, they're the deserving favorites in this division and among the half-dozen (or more) AFC teams who would be no shock if they were to land in Houston on Candlemas Eve.

2. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-7): May be forced to open things up on both sides of the ball, as RBs James and Rhodes both must answer injury questions and Dungy will have to take the velvet gloves off his defense after ultra-conservative, confidence-building approach led to No. 20 ranking against the run and No. 2 versus the pass a year ago. Peyton Manning still looking for first postseason NFL win and will have to go on the road to get it unless they can finish ahead of the Titans for the first time since 1996.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (7-9): Lost in all the noisy debate over "minority" head coaches is Jack Del Rio's being named only the second Hispanic NFL head coach ever - and the first one has two Super Bowl rings (Tom Flores). Ethnicity aside, the players will be happy not having Tom Coughlin screaming at them any more, but unfortunately there are too many areas on this team where the talent is nothing to scream about - like wide receiver, the offensive line (though the latter is not in as bad a shape as it was in two years ago) and the defense in general (Hugh Douglas will help with the pass rush but the run defense remains suspect). And don't know how Mark Brunell will react to the lame-duck status that has apparently been bestowed upon him by the drafting of Byron Leftwich in the first round; all in all it looks like their song for the season is one popularized by Chuck Berry - "No Particular Place To Go" (in the standings, that is).

4. HOUSTON TEXANS (3-13): Their hopes of having Tony Boselli bail out their horrible offensive line have been dashed as Boselli ended up retiring without ever having played a regular-season down for the club; and by drafting Dave Ragone in Round 3 they're all but conceding that David Carr won't get through the entire season in one piece. Top draft pick Andre Johnson provides both a big and a fast target for whoever happens to be under center, but someone is going to have to step up at running back and defense is a tricky read - it always is when on the same team as an offense that is so, how shall we say, limited; front office seems to be in no great hurry to win right away, unlike the previous expansion regimes in Carolina and Jacksonville - and while that strategy may be the right thing to do in the long run, it doesn't offer much hope for the here and now; suffice it to say that there will be no "home-field advantage" to taint this winter's Super Bowl.
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Old 08-03-2003, 05:51 PM   #2
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I see it this way:

1. Colts (13-3)
2. Titans (10-6)
3. Jaguars (6-10)
4. Texans (5-11)

The Colts are going to be really exciting on offense with a healthy Edgerrin James. The Titans will be good, and the rest of the division is mediocre.
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:06 PM   #3
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Titans to win the division just because Manning has never beaten the Titans since he has been in the NFL, and until he does so I think the Titans carry the division. Titans will struggle though with a very tough schedule, a no name WR core, a questionable secondary who will have to prove themselves during the season, and a few players coming back from injury who are supposed to be key contributors.

Colts don't really have a good #2 option in Wayne, but Harrison, James, Manning, and Pollard/Clark should be explosive again on offense. Freeney should rack up some sacks with his speed off the corner, but I am still not sold on their defense.

Jags have one of the best defensive lines in Douglas, Brackens, Stroud, and Henderson. Taylor never can stay completely healthy though, and Smith and Brunell are on their last leg together. This team might make some noise though and be a sleeper.

Houston improves their offense by picking up Stacy Mack at running back, but not sure what he can do with that offensive line in front of him. Carr has fair options with Bradford, Gaffney, Miller, and now Johnson. I can see them winning between 4 to 6 games possibly depending on the health of the team.

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Old 08-11-2003, 05:44 PM   #4
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Joey, I don't think the Titans have the explosiveness that the Colts do to win the division. Obviously, the Colts' defense is a question, but they are improving with Tony Dungy. I'm not a fan of Eddie George anymore ... like him as a person, but he is slow and mediocre now, IMO. He isn't a top threat like he was 3-4 years ago. Additionally, I am not crazy about Tennesse's receivers aside from Mason.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:53 PM   #5
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The Colts defense may be a little bit shaky but not to the extreme that would cause them to lose the division. Their offense is so explosive and with James completely recovered from his injuries this team can be the team to beat.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:59 PM   #6
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Don't sell the Colts D short. And also don't overlook that they have pretty slight offenses to defend against in division. The Colts could/should? win the division.

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Old 08-11-2003, 06:03 PM   #7
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The Colts did get Doss, let us not forget. And let us not forget how VASTLY improved their defense was last year from the injury riddled season of 2001. They should only get better on defense under Dungy. In fact, I had the Colts D in my fantasy football for the majority of the season last year and it worked well....and I don't know that much about the NFL anymore !
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:15 PM   #8
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Buckeye, speaking of former Buckeyes, Donnie Nickey started for the Titans at safety this past weekend because Lance Shulters could not play. Although it was a preseason game, I like picking him up in the 5th round, he seemed pretty serviceable to me.

Marc I agree that the Titan's receivers are not scary at all, but keep in mind this is the same group that entered the AFC playoffs last year and ended up in the AFC title game. Marc I also agree that Eddie George would be doing great to get 1,100 yards this season. I am just saying, until Manning actually beats the Titans, then I have to go with the Titans to win that division.

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Old 08-12-2003, 05:35 PM   #9
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I was just going to ask you how Nickey was working out Joey. I was pretty hard on him and did notice that Shulters was out, but didn't know what happened after that. Perhaps I am wrong on him. Let's see what happens when the old cutting crew gets a hold on the rosters.
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:25 PM   #10
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Buckeye, I would be surprised if the Titans cut Nickey, just because they lack depth at that position. Shulters will be back in the lineup eventually though. Nickey looks to be a pretty sure tackler, and I have not seen him get totally torched in the passing game yet. But like you said the judge is still out on him, but I am almost 100 percent certain Nickey will make the team. I will keep you posted on his progress.

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Old 08-26-2003, 11:53 AM   #11
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1. Hillbillies
2. Indianapolis
3. Jacksonville
4. Houston
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Old 08-26-2003, 01:56 PM   #12
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1. Titans
2. Colts
3. Jags
4. Texans
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:05 PM   #13
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1. Colts
2. Titans
3. Jags
4. Texans
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:13 PM   #14
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Tennessee
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Houston

Tennesee is Florida Gators' NFL counterparts against Peyton Manning. Peyton has never defeated the Titans in the NFL, and if any indications follow the latter half of last season in which Tennessee was revived to dominate the AFC (minus Oakland), than the Titans just might hoist the AFC South trophies again.

Edgerrin James and his Indianapolis-backers are intent on saying that he is back despite injury problems. If that's true, AFC South foes have something to worry about. Reggie Wayne has disappointed me during the preseason, but Dallas Clark was a very good draft pick in early action. Add Marvin Harrison, Marcus Pollard, and perhaps a defense that could get even better despite losing Mike Peterson.

Jacksonville is on the brink of a QB controversy. Brunell's 6 million dollar contract is wasting away now with QB Byron Leftwich on board. Fred Taylor needs to stay healthy because the #2 back is questionable with Elvis Joseph and LaBrandon Toefield vying for the job. Jimmy Smith is still the reliable but no longer a deep threat. Donald Hayes was a great addition to the receiving corps. The Offensive line is rebuilt and retooled but may need a little while before becoming fully appreciated. And defense? They got Reggie McGrew, Hugh Douglas, Keith Mitchell and Mike Peterson....all of whom are predicted to start.

Houston as an expansion team needs no more hits and yet they get them. Tony Boselli retired. David Carr is going to be tested on toughness and durability. Stacey Mack, a questionable starting running back is in the Texans backfield. Don't deny this team one thing...Dom Capers is an excellent expansion coach and he has this team right on schedule...and his players play hard for him.
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