Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/17/13
How does a division get so bad? Houston plays six games against teams destined for losing records; that's over a THIRD of their games! Let's break this mess down.Houston Texans (13-3)We know how good the Texans are. In almost every aspect of the game, they're solid (passing D needs some help). So what's to say about them?On the opposite side of top-5 reciever Andre Johnson is former Clemson wide-out DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is arguably the best reciever in the 2013 draft class. Watch this O become the league's most potent.My only gripe is the depth behind Johson/Hopkins; Lester Jean? Keshawn Martin? Hopefully no injuries occur at wide-out.The three losses I see happening are dropping one or two during a rough stretch between weeks 3-5 (@Baltimore, Seattle, @San Francisco).  A late home game against Denver could swing either way also.Indianapolis Colts (6-10)Last year, the Colts were the feel-good story of the season; they capped off a drastic turn-around year with a playoff birth. This year, however, regression is iminent. Regradless of record, the Colts couldn't do much right except Andrew Luck making things happen in the passing game...and even he struggled (18 INTs). Adding Darius Heyward-Bey could help; putting him in the slot could reap great rewards (he's built for it).But what about a running game? Vick Ballard and Donald Brown amassed only 3 touchdowns last year. Three. The duo's yardage amounts to 22nd in the league. Can an out-of-prime Ahmad Bradshaw elevate them? Doubt it.On the other side of the ball, the Colts' opponents gained 30 more rushing yards per game. Take a look at their defensive starters...does first-round pick Bjorn Warner cure this? Warner has raw talent, but the likes of Pat Angerer and Robert Mathis will keep the run D in the basement (29th last year).Last year also included a below average pass defense. Vontae Davis and Darius Butler showed flashes of brilliance; adding LaRon Landry boosts them to at least middle of the pack.With six games coming against the upcoming teams and the bottom of the AFC West, the Colts get at least six wins.(FYI: That's the Titans, Jags, Chargers and Raiders)Tennessee Titans (6-10)Beacuse it's both way more fun and logically obvious, this prediction is coming with Ryan Fitzpatrick being as the starting QB. (Does Jake Locker turn it around in year 3? Should anyone have the patience to find out?)Am I the only one in the Ryan Fitzpatrick fan club? In the past two seasons, he's completed over 60% of his passes while throwing for over 3,400 yards and 24 TDs. That's with Stevie Johnson as his only weapon. (How come "Stevie Johnson is overrated because of Fitzpatrick" is ruled out?)T Andy Levitre and first-rounder Chance Warmack were brought in to help a putrid offensive line. Here's where dreams come into play. Imagine the new additions solidifying a good o-line; Chris Johnson explodes for 100+ a game while Fitzpatrick shines with his supporting cast.Kenny Britt is playing for his career. Kendall Walker is (possibly) begining his prime. Nate Washington is a solid vet (750 yards, 4 TDs last year). Even second-rounder Justin Hunter is a future beast, both from his 6-4 frame to his junior year in Knoxville. Things are even better at TE; Delanie Walker was the 49ers unsung hero the past two years. Outshined by Vernon Davis, Walker played multiple roles in Harbaugh's offense from h-back to slot to gunner. Having a breakout year in 2013 is all but fact.Fitzpatrick/Johnson/Britt & Co. could sneak into the playoffs.Dreams deflate when the defense is considered; last year they surrenedered 400 yards per game. The Titans hope bringing in S Bernard Pollard can help a young, promising D, but will he succeed? The likes of LB Akeem Ayers and S Michael Griffin have talent. Kamerion Wimbley is a solid vet. However, surrounding them are a bunch of 20 somethings without big time experience.Like the offense, there's a tiny pipe-dream that revolves around Gregg Williams coming in, reinventing the D, and sneaking into a wild-card spot......But in reality, Jake Locker will start and struggle while the defense remains mediocre.Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)Is there any franchise in professional sports that doubles as both historically bad and in an obscure market?In basketball, the Sacremento Kings are a prime example. Why is any professional team located in Sacremento? I have friends on the west coast who joked that even Kings fans don't want to watch Kings games. But there were the Webber/Bibby/Divac days that were fun and won divisional titles (plus, Jason Williams being a jaw-dropping talent).Baseball has bad teams, but all of which have history. Football is the same, also (for the most part). As for the Jaguars, something as little as playing NFL RedZone during home games shows something very sad.What happens first? Kings to Seattle or Jags to LA?I'll return to the 2013 predicition and save my Jacksonville confusion for later...however, the on-field product is just as sad.The Jaguars averaged under 300 total yards per game. They gave up 380.Everything starts with quarterback. Who's going to start? Are the Jags obligated to give the 11th overall pick in 2011 (aka the irrational draft of bad QBs) another chance? Or do they go with Henne, who was an improvement over Gabbert last year?Either way, the Jags have enough offensive weapons for any capable QB: Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts (fantasy sleeper), Massaquoi, Shipley, and even TE Marcedes Lewis.Another sad revelation is, like Run-DMC, MJD is wasting away his prime in Jacksonville.On defense, this team is a laughing stock of send-offs from other teams: Jason Babin, Posluszny, Marcus Trufant, etc. Adding John Crypien and Josh Evans through the draft adds depth, but doesn't cover up the debacle of last year.Last off-season, CB Aaron Ross was signed for three years. The year before that, S Dawan Landry was given a five-year deal. Both were released this year.And that, in a nutshell, is the Jaguars.
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