Indianapolis Colts -155
Houston Texans +360
Tennessee Titans +375
Jacksonville Jaguars +1000
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Indianapolis Colts: The Colts largely have the exact same team that they had last season when they made it to the Super Bowl, but one very key difference could be a bit awkward. OC Tom Moore, the only coordinator that QB Peyton Manning has known during his successful tenure in Indianapolis, has now retired. Though we are confident that Manning can call the shots by himself without an offensive coordinator, we don’t know how Clyde Christensen is going to react this type of a position. Bringing back the injured and forgotten about WR Anthony Gonzalez should help a receiving corps that is already incredibly deep. Defensively, drafting DE Jerry Hughes is going to add a lot of depth to an already stacked set of defensive linemen. Indianapolis is going to be the cream of this division once again, but age may catch up to it one of these days. Manning is no longer a spring chicken.
Houston Texans: Look out for the Texans in 2010. They have the potential to be one of the best teams in football with a passing offense led by QB Matt Schaub. Surprisingly, there wasn’t an aerial attack more efficient than that of the Texans in 2010. The red zone offense was a significantly different story. Houston lost three games inside the opponent’s 20 yard line last year, something that many wondered whether HC Gary Kubiak would live to tell about. It’s playoffs or bust this year for the Texans, as they really need to get over the hump and get into the second season for the first time in franchise history. Though everyone in Houston is exciting about DB Kareem Jackson coming to town, keep an eye on second rounder RB Ben Tate, who could be a big difference maker on the goal line.
Tennessee Titans: Tennessee was an embarrassment under QB Kerry Collins during the first part of the season, but all of a sudden, going 8-2 in the second half of the year with QB Vince Young calling the shots gives bright hopes for 2010. Young has never been a quarterback with flashy numbers, but he just keeps finding ways to win games, and that’s all anyone could ask out of an NFL quarterback. There is a big question whether or not RB Chris Johnson is going to report to training camp on time or not, but he is clearly deserving of a new contract after rushing for 2,000 yards and leading the team in receptions to boot. Defensively, the Titans have some work to do on defense, especially since this was a unit that gave up 59 points to the Patriots last year. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch needs to be replaced now that left via free agency. Still, we aren’t doubting HC Jeff Fisher’s ability to put a playoff contender together.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Not only might the Jaguars be in their dying years in Jacksonville, but the HC Jack Del Rio era is probably about to be coming to a close as well. Del Rio badly needs to bring Jacksonville back to the playoffs after two miserable seasons. QB David Garrard is going to have to prove that he is capable of leading a franchise to the second season, something that hasn’t come easily since he replaced QB Byron Leftwich as the man in charge of the Jags. Jacksonville has a great running game with RB Maurice Jones-Drew, but the defense which was once considered the staple of the franchise is in shambles right now and needs a lot of work. Could this team win eight games? Certainly. However, especially if the season gets off to a bad start, there really isn’t going to be any wiggle room for Del Rio and the Jags to get back into things.