Considered one of the most lopsided divisions in the NFL, the AFC South has been dominated by the Indianapolis Colts since the 2002 realignment. However thanks to poor play from the defending champs and injuries, the Houston Texans came away with the crown in 2015.
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Marcus Mariota got off to a hot start in a battle of former Heisman winners, defeating Jameis Winston’s Buccaneers in their week one match up. However it was largely all downhill from there for Tennessee, going 3-13 and firing head coach Ken Whisenhunt mid season and replacing him with Mike Mularkey. Mariota looks to have a bright future going forward, but was injured twice in his rookie season.
Jacksonville spent 2015 establishing their core going forward. Blake Bortles took a big step forward in his development, and Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are a top-five receiving duo. Now if Gus Bradley’s defense could get any traction, the Jags could compete for a playoff spot instead of a top-five pick. Hopefully for them, Dante Fowler Jr.’s return from injury should give them a spark.
The 2015 Indianapolis Colts were a team of turmoil. It started with the firing of Pep Hamilton and Andrew Luck’s lacerated kidney, and ended with the bizarre decision to extend both head coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson’s contracts when the two reportedly can’t work together. The Colts, who finished 8-8 have one more year with Luck on his rookie contract, and owner Jim Irsay has warned the media to be ready for a “nine-figure extension”.
The Houston Texans won the AFC South almost by default, finishing with a 9-7 record and had four different quarterbacks start a game. Bryan Hoyer played solid, if not unexciting until the Chiefs defense unraveled him in the playoffs. With their quarterback situation in dire straits and Arian Foster’s health a huge question mark, the Texans need to revitalize their offense. At the very least, DeAndre Hopkins established himself as a superstar at wide receiver.
Next: Tennessee Titans