The NFL’s deepest division will have a familiar face on top in 2010. Al Dannity likes the Colts to retain the AFC South title.
The cream of the crop The term power conference gets used a lot in College Football. The NFL is a little different; it has power divisions. The AFC South holds the NFL single-season record for total winning percentage. In 2007 the four teams from this division won almost 66% of their games. I like the NFL’s power division to come close to that record once again in 2010.
The depth of talent in the AFC South is such that it could repeat its 2007 feat of sending three teams to the post-season. Any team with Peyton Manning under center is a virtual lock for the playoffs every year. The Colts have made the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons and won at least 12 games in each of the least seven seasons. Houston has an embarrassment of riches on offense and a steadily improving defense. The Titans look to be on track for another crack at January Football, while even the Jaguars look in decent shape.
Time for a breakthrough For all the success AFC South teams have enjoyed, one of its members has yet to even taste the post-season. That should finally change in 2010. Gary Kubiak started well in Houston, turning the team from a laughing stock into a serious contender for a spot in the playoffs. Kubiak’s failure to make that next step however gives NFL bettors plenty of cause for concern entering the 2010 season.
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The 2009 Texans should have made the playoffs and their failure to do so must rest squarely on their head coach. Despite that disappointment, the 2009 Texans did record the first winning season in franchise history. With Kubiak’s future in Houston at stake, I like the Texans to break through in 2010 and make the playoffs.
The final shake-up I feel really sorry for Jags fans, as no franchise needs a playoff run more than Jacksonville. For a team that’s been more successful than half the NFL over the past decade, it’s small but hardcore group of supporters know that these are dark days for the franchise off the field. A playoff season could energize the community but I don’t see it happening in 2010. I like the Jags to come last in the AFC South.
On a brighter note, things are looking up for the Titans and Texans. I like Tennessee and Houston to both challenge the Colts for divisional supremacy for most of the season. The Texans look better placed to cash in and turn that pressure into at least a wild card spot but a third place finish might be enough for Tennessee to make the post-season. There will however be only one winner. Look for Peyton Manning and the Colts to win the AFC South at -208 with Sports Interaction.