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Old 08-16-2005, 07:27 PM   #1
tobynosker
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Default 2005 AFC Predictions: AFC South

AFC South Predictions:

1.) Indianapolis Colts: 14-2
2.) Jacksonville Jaguars: 11-5
3.) Houston Texans: 5-11
4.) Tennessee Titans: 5-11


Indianapolis Colts: 14-2

Sept. 11th – Win on the road against Baltimore
Sept. 18th – Win at home against Jacksonville
Sept. 25th – Win at home against Cleveland
Oct. 2nd – Win on the road against Tennessee
Oct. 9th – Win on the road against San Francisco
Oct. 17th – Win at home against St. Louis
Oct. 23rd – Win on the road against Houston
Oct. 30th – Bye Week
Nov. 7th – Lose on the road against New England
Nov. 13th – Win at home against Houston
Nov. 20th – Win on the road against Cincinnati
Nov. 28th – Win at home against Pittsburgh
Dec. 4th – Win at home against Tennessee
Dec. 11th – Win on the road against Jacksonville
Dec. 18th – Win at home against San Diego
Dec. 24th – Lose on the road against Seattle
Jan. 1st – Win at home against Arizona

The schedule lends itself pretty well this season for the Indianapolis Colts to head into New England undefeated on November 7th. If the Colts are undefeated, the media hype should center around this being Peyton Manning’s best opportunity to pick up a win in Foxborough, MA (especially if my prediction of New England losing early on in the season against Atlanta takes place). Manning should remain the preseason favorite to three-peat as league-MVP, while the offense should continue to be one of the top scoring teams in the NFL. Indianapolis drafted strong on defense, without any cap space to do anything during free agency. Whether this team is fit to make some noise in the postseason remains to be seen, but I believe the Colts will have no problem getting a first-round playoff bye this season.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 11-5

Sept. 11th – Win at home against Seattle
Sept. 18th – Lose on the road against Indianapolis
Sept. 25th – Lose on the road against New York Jets
Oct. 2nd – Win at home against Denver
Oct. 9th – Win at home against Cincinnati
Oct. 16th – Lose on the road against Pittsburgh
Oct. 23rd – Bye Week
Oct. 30th – Win on the road against St. Louis
Nov. 6th – Win at home against Houston
Nov. 13th – Win at home against Baltimore
Nov. 20th – Lose on the road against Tennessee
Nov. 27th – Win on the road against Arizona
Dec. 4th – Win on the road against Cleveland
Dec. 11th – Lose at home against Indianapolis
Dec. 18th – Win at home against San Francisco
Dec. 24th – Win on the road against Houston
Jan. 1st – Win at home against Tennessee

As much as I had a tough time dropping a team like Cincinnati down to 3-13, I have an even harder time believing Jacksonville is going to end up being 11-5. Jacksonville does look like the second-best team in the AFC South, and although they had trouble against Houston last season, I believe things will turn out differently between the two this year. The Tennessee Titans also got the best of the Jaguars in Jacksonville last season, but things should end up differently in 2005. The strength of the team relies on the health of Byron Leftwich, and the consistency of Fred Taylor. A possible wild card berth is possible for Jacksonville, but the New York Jets and a strong team in the AFC West might have something to say about that.

Houston Texans: 5-11

Sept. 11th – Lose on the road against Buffalo
Sept. 18th – Lose at home against Pittsburgh
Sept. 25th – Bye Week
Oct. 2nd – Lose on the road against Cincinnati
Oct. 9th – Win at home against Tennessee
Oct. 16th – Lose on the road against Seattle
Oct. 23rd – Lose at home against Indianapolis
Oct. 30th – Win at home against Cleveland
Nov. 6th – Lose on the road against Jacksonville
Nov. 13th – Lose on the road against Indianapolis
Nov. 20th – Lose at home against Kansas City
Nov. 27th – Win at home against St. Louis
Dec. 4th – Lose on the road against Baltimore
Dec. 11th – Lose on the road against Tennessee
Dec. 18th – Win at home against Arizona
Dec. 24th - Lose at home against Jacksonville
Jan. 1st – Win on the road against San Francisco

In similar fashion to the Cleveland Browns, the Houston Texans are a mediocre team that has the chance to surprise some people this season. A schedule that matches Houston up with San Francisco, Arizona, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Cleveland opens the door up for another seven, or possibly an eight-game win season. The Texans have improved in each of the last three years, but this season I see them taking a step back. While Houston has improved, so has Jacksonville, and the Jaguars have done it at greater lengths. Plus, with Indianapolis still the team to beat, the Texans are battling for third place in the division. I predict four of their five wins this season will come at home against struggling teams with no clear-cut direction, because Houston’s defense is going to have a tough time making key plays and stops.

Tennessee Titans: 5-11

Sept. 11th – Lose on the road against Pittsburgh
Sept. 18th – Lose at home against Baltimore
Sept. 25th – Lose on the road against St. Louis
Oct. 2nd – Lose at home against Indianapolis
Oct. 9th – Lose on the road against Houston
Oct. 16th – Win at home against Cincinnati
Oct. 23rd – Lose on the road against Arizona
Oct. 30th – Win at home against Oakland
Nov. 6th – Lose on the road against Cleveland
Nov. 13th – Bye Week
Nov. 20th – Win at home against Jacksonville
Nov. 27th – Win at home against San Francisco
Dec. 4th – Lose on the road against Indianapolis
Dec. 11th – Win at home against Houston
Dec. 18th – Lose at home against Seattle
Dec. 24th – Lose on the road against Miami
Jan. 1st – Lose on the road against Jacksonville

For a team that is beginning a rebuilding stage, Tennessee fans should be happy to see their team finish 5-11 for the second-consecutive season. The Titans have to hope Steve McNair remains healthy this season, or else they could be flirting with the worst record in the NFL. The offense will hurt with the loss of Derrick Mason, but Drew Bennett is loaded with potential and Tennessee did a nice job drafting some young wide-outs. Defense remains a problem for Jeff Fisher’s bunch, but a healthy offense should allow for a few wins this season.
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Old 08-18-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
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I have to say I agree with you except for the Texans, who I think are going to win 8-9 games. They have a lot of talent and are on the rise.
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Old 08-18-2005, 09:23 PM   #3
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I like Indy as a 14-game winner and Jacksonville as a playoff team. I'm with Marc on Houston, they could be dangerous, but I also agree with your point toby, that they could lose close games.
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:03 PM   #4
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I don't know about J-ville just yet due to Taylor's shaky knee. Toby, you may have gotten it backwards The Jags season is going to rely heavily on how healthy Fred Taylor's knee is and how much he can play this year.

Houston could be a spoiler team, but they what could be a pretty tough road schedule this year if Buffalo, Cincy, and Seattle live up to the hype and contend for playoff spots as some think they just might. I have a hard time seeing them winning more than 7 or 8 games at the most with that schedule this year.
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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Indy as a 14 game winner? That's is alot of wins with a tough schedule. Jacksonville is turning out to be the real deal while they have run ins with both the Steelers and Patriots this season.

I'll by them with 12 wins this season.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:19 AM   #6
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I dont see the Colts winning game 1 on the road against the Ravens. It will be the #1 offense vs the #1 defense in my opinion. While the Colts have 3 WR who can run the field, the Ravens now have 3 DB's who can guard them down the field. The Ravens have the best secondary in the NFL right now, and with the LB corps they have, i think they have the best defense.
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:14 PM   #7
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I don't see what's dangerous about the Texans, i think they've peaked (sadly enough).

Colts (12-4)
Jaguars (10-6)
Texans (5-11)
Titans (4-12)

I might normally predict that, after last year’s dominance, other teams have used the offseason to devise defensive schemes especially to stop the Colts' offense, and that the Peyton Show will be slowed. However, I don’t think you can really stop that juggernaut. Like the Patriots, the Colts thrive because of their superior execution, not because of temporary mismatches. Unlike the Patriots, the Colts didn’t lose two coordinators, so I see continued excellence in their future. Besides the Colts, the Jags are on the upswing, the Texans have leveled off, and the Titans just aren’t very talented.
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