We are a quarter of the way through the season so what better time to review the season for the division. The biggest surprise is that the Titans aren’t the closest to the Texans, other than that it was all pretty much to be expected.
Jacksonville Jaguars: (1-3)
Honestly, I thought it would be worse. The Jaguars entered this season with one of the worst offenses, on paper in the league, and their defense was mediocre at best. However, they have one win and played the Vikings close the entire game and lost a heart-breaker in overtime.
Maurice Jones-Drew has shown that he will not be rusty this season and will be the regular MJD that everyone has become accustomed to seeing.
Blaine Gabbert may actually be competent. He hasn’t played like a first round pick let alone top ten, but he can play well enough to not lose. Unfortunately, Cecil Shorts has proven to be his best receiver as Laurent Robinson appears to be a product of the offense in Dallas and Justin Blackmon would rather be anywhere but Jacksonville.
I still have Jacksonville listed as the worst team in the NFL, thus having the top choice in April’s draft, but if they can manage to get a lead on someone they could steal a couple wins with their above average running game and defense.
Tennessee Titans: (1-3)
Tennessee has been pretty underwhelming this year. They’ve probably had the toughest schedule thus far but it’s no excuse to get beat down the way they have. Before today Chris Johnson was better serving his team on the bench and the defense was a sieve that couldn’t seem to stop anyone.
Chris Johnson is averaging just over 45 yards rushing per game. That is certainly not good enough to win the team any games and while he may put up more 141-yard games than 24-yard games, it is anything but a guarantee.
Jake Locker was injured today and could have taken the Titans chances of stopping the Texans dominance of the AFC South with him. While Hasselbeck is a capable quarterback he isn’t the player he once was a no longer gives his team the best chance to win.
If the defense can stop the run like they stopped Foster and Tate today then they could be formidable. Based on what we’ve seen so far this year, however, today was an outlier.
The Titans are underperforming this year and if they don’t step it up the Texans could have the division locked up by week 10.
Indianapolis Colts: (1-2)
The Colts are technically the closest team in the division to the Texans. However, their single win against Minnesota is not nearly as telling as their loss to Jacksonville.
Andrew Luck is a rookie. It is time to look at him as such, instead of expecting him to be some superhero that doesn’t make mistakes that everyone thought he would be. He will lead the Colts to a prosperous future, but that future is not this season.
The running game continues to be a problem and until they draft a player early to give Luck a legitimate play-action fake, or make third downs a little more manageable, they will continue to underperform in this division.
Reggie Wayne is seeing a resurgence in his career as he leads the league in targets, but it remains to be seen if he can continue his production with the durability issues he has.
The defense, specifically the secondary, is abysmal. They gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass from the less-than-electric tandem of Gabbert to Shorts, with 56 seconds left. If the defense continues to play like that it wouldn’t shock me to see the Colts get another number one overall pick.
The Texans continue to have this division locked up, and I don’t foresee them ever letting their lead become less than 2 games.