The Houston Texans have made some big moves this offseason. Clearly, they’re making a drive to be more youthful, and save some money, but the question keeps coming up: will the Texans make the playoffs? At this point, it’s very unclear, as we don’t even know who will be taking snaps under center, but it’s worth speculating!
The AFC South has been back and forth between the Colts and Texans for a very long time. No other team has won the AFC South since 2008 when the Titans won it. Winning the division is the safest way to make the playoffs, so the question really becomes, “Will the Texans win the AFC South?”
An ESPN article notes that they don’t think the Texans offense is enough to dethrone the Indianapolis Colts, saying:
"“There’s no need to panic, though, the Texans still aren’t better than the Colts, so you don’t have to worry about them dethroning the back-to-back AFC South champions from the top of the division. The Texans have never won in Indianapolis and the Colts are 12-0 against AFC South opponents the past two seasons.”"
Obviously the questions at quarterback are unsettling, but there’s no need to get crazy about that detail. The Colts will have a great chance to jab at the Texans glorified defense with the pickup of former Texan receiver Andre Johnson, and proven quarterback Andrew Luck. They also got former San Fransisco 49ers running back Frank Gore. Last season, the Colts were first in yards per game in the entire NFL.
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The Texans have struggled against the Colts recently, but with their insanely good defense, this could be the year they’re able to beat them. Drafting some more offensive weaponry like running back Todd Gurley or receiver Devante Parker would be beneficial to them, and could give them that last missing piece to beat the Colts.
The Jaguars have also shown they’re looking to be a threat in the AFC South. Last year, they got quarterback Blake Bortles in the draft, and are hoping he can be a decent, long term quarterback for their franchise. They also picked up running back Bernard Pierce off waivers from the Ravens. The Baltimore Ravens released him due to a recent DUI charge, but the Jaguars will benefit from his production, despite his tarnished reputation.
The Jaguars also re-signed cornerback Alan Ball, who will help them out on defense. Ball had 47 combined tackles and two interceptions in 2013. While Jacksonville is far from being a team that can take the top of the AFC South, they’re proving that they want to make moves to get there.
They have a lot of missing pieces at this point, but they’ll soon be in the conversation. I don’t think they’ll be a threat to the Texans or Colts this year, however.
The Texans probably have a shot at winning the AFC South. All things considered, it will take some huge pieces falling into place for that to happen. Mainly, the quarterback position needs to be figured out, and the offense must play better this year, than they have in years past. Even more, it’s important that the Texans defense proves themselves, especially in their two games against Luck, the Colts, and their high powered offense.