The Houston Texans face off with their AFC South rivals twice a year, so it is worth digging into the teams in this division a little deeper to see what the Texans are up against.
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And what better way to dig into the rivalry than to ask the people who cover those teams. Les Bailey, @Spin_47 on Twitter, over at TitanSized.com was nice enough to answer a few questions in regards to the Titans, the Texans and the entire AFC South.
TT: I recently had an article where I discussed the state of the Titans and I felt they got the better quarterback in Marcus Mariota rather than Jameis Winston. Yet, I believe the roster is just too young currently, what is your take on the state of the franchise with their quarterback and roster as a whole?
"I am excited about the young roster, and also like the upside with Marcus Mariota vs Jameis Winston. I expect some better numbers from Bishop Sankey this year mainly because he got a full off season unlike last year when he was involved in school and graduating during the OTA’s, and the arrival of David Cobb."
TT: Besides Mariota, what was their best move in the offseason?
"The best offseason move was bringing in Brian Orakpo and drafting Dorial Green-Beckham. Both have huge question marks, but if Orakpo can give us 70% of his Pro Bowl days, we will rush some quarterbacks. If DGB can stay out of trouble and develop, he will be a great Red Zone option for MM. I think drafting Jalston Fowler will be huge in moving the chains on third down. Something the Titans couldn’t do last year."
TT: Derrick Morgan is a solid player on the defensive side and the addition of Brian Orakpo will help pressure the quarterback. Yet stopping the run seemed like the biggest issue for Tennessee on defense last year. Will they improve here? And if so, how?
"Jurell Casey and the inside linebackers are key to stopping the run. Also picking up DaNorris Searcy will help in the run game as well. Anybody who read my early pre-draft blogs knows if the Titans were going to stand pat on Mettenberger, I wanted Danny Shelton instead of Leonard Williams because of his ability to play the run."
TT: Do you still believe the Colts are the biggest threat in the AFC South?
"The Colts are tough, and I think they are the team to beat in the AFC, let alone the South. Still not sure they can beat the Pats down the stretch but by addressing the running game on offense with Frank Gore if he still has something in the tank will make them more lethal.Look for Andre Johnson to have his best game against the Texans."
TT: Where do you rank the Texans in the AFC South and AFC as a whole?
"I think 2nd place in the South will be a dog fight between the Titans and Texans."
TT: What offseason move concerns you most about facing the Texans?
"Did J.J. Watt break a leg and is going to miss the season..LOL the health and return to form of Jadeveon Clowney concerns me."
TT: I personally am very against the move for quarterback Brian Hoyer and if he starts I think it is a huge mistake. Which passer strikes more fear into you as an opponent, Ryan Mallet or Hoyer?
"That’s what I love about this business, I like Brian Hoyer and think he will make a great bridge quarterback. He is a better game manager than Ryan Mallett and I thought it was stupid to bench him in favor of Johnny Football when they had a chance for the playoffs. Hejust needed to play through the bad games and get out of the other side. Hoyer will not get you to the Super Bowl, but he will tread water until you get a franchise qb."
TT:Lastly, I predicted the Texans to finish around 9-7 again and Tennessee 5-11. What do you predict for both teams and feel free to rip me for my take on the Titans!
"One ripping over Hoyer is enough. I have both teams beating the Jags twice and losing to the Colts with a Texan/Titans split. I have predicted that if the Titans can get to the bye week at 2-1, they stand a chance of .500 season. As far a s the Texans are concerned, they stand a better chance of splitting with the Colts.The other factor for the Titans is with a 2-14 2014 season, they will draw a slightly lighter schedule than the Texans, and the win/loss totals will be pretty even."