My trip around the NFL previewing each of the eight division title races for the upcoming 2014 regular season as part of an exclusive feature for Doc's Sports takes me to the AFC South for this week's installment.
The Indianapolis Colts completely dominated this division during Peyton Manning's long and successful run as their starting quarterback and right now it looks like his replacement Andrew Luck is poised to continue this high level on success heading into his third season as the Colts' starting quarterback after leading his team to the division title in 2013 with a record of 11-5.
Houston filled the gap as the top team in the AFC South during a brief two-year hiatus by Indianapolis in 2011 and 2012, but the Texans rapidly plummeted to the bottom of the NFL last season with just two wins after going 12-4 the year before. Many experts believe that this team is poised for a dramatic improvement this season given the overall talent on both sides of the ball, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough for a worst to first finish in this division in 2014.
Tennessee continues to plod along from year to year with a combined record of 36-44 in its last five seasons. The Titans did win nine games in 2011, but they followed that up with a 6-10 record in 2012 and a 7-9 mark last season. Where they go from here is anyone's guess, but any future success will likely hinge on the play of fourth-year quarterback Jake Locker. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his first three seasons in the NFL, but the only thing that matters in this league is wins and losses.
The perennial doormat in the AFC South for the last few years has been the Jacksonville Jaguars (although they did finish third in 2013). The good news about last season was the fact that they doubled their win total from the year before. The bad news is that they only won two games in 2012. Things could get interesting in Jacksonville in 2014 with a whole new cast of characters on offense with the addition of quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receivers' Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the first two rounds of this year's NFL Draft.
The following is a link to this week's piece as originally posted on Doc's Sports.
2014 Odds to Win AFC South with Picks and NFL Predictions