NFL 2013: AFC South preview capsulesBy The Associated Press , Associated Press
Aug. 26, 2013 5:37 PM ET
HOUSTON TEXANS (13-5)
NEW FACES: S Ed Reed, WR DeAndre Hopkins, LB Joe Mays, S D.J. Swearinger.
KEY LOSSES: OLB Connor Barwin, SS Glover Quin, WR Kevin Walter.
STRENGTHS: DE, WR, S.
WEAKNESSES: LB, CB, OL.
EXPECTATIONS: Texans made playoffs for second straight season, but again failed to advance past divisional round. Expectations higher this season and sentiment is Super Bowl or bust. Defense should be improved from late last year with linebacker Brian Cushing returning from knee injury and addition of Ed Reed, along with defensive player of year J.J. Watt. Quarterback Matt Schaub needs to prove he can win a big game, and he'll have more weapons after Texans drafted receiver DeAndre Hopkins to play opposite Andre Johnson.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-6)
NEW FACES: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RT Gosder Cherilus, DL Aubrayo Franklin, QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, DL Ricky Jean Francois, S LaRon Landry, LG Donald Thomas, CB Greg Toler, LB Erik Walden, LB Bjoern Werner.
KEY LOSSES: WR Austin Collie, DE/LB Dwight Freeney.
STRENGTHS: QB, TE.
WEAKNESSES: OL, RB, CB.
EXPECTATIONS: Colts ignored projections last year with historic turnaround and return to playoffs. This year, with some predicting crash, Indy plans to prove naysayers wrong again. Yes, tougher schedule may result in fewer wins, but improved offensive line, more players who fit coach Chuck Pagano's defense and better depth should not make a fall — if there is one — too great. Indy planning for 13th playoff appearance in 15 years.
TENNESSEE TITANS (6-10)
NEW FACES: SS Bernard Pollard, LG Andy Levitre, S George Wilson, LB Moise Fokou, C Rob Turner, TE Delanie Walker, DT Sammie Hill, DE Ropati Potoitua, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RG Chance Warmack, assistant coach Gregg Williams.
KEY LOSSES: TE Jared Cook, QB Matt Hasselbeck, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, LB Will Witherspoon.
STRENGTHS: RB, OL, WR.
WEAKNESSES: DL, CB.
EXPECTATIONS: Injuries, especially on offensive line, decimated Tennessee last year. Titans brought in 17 free agents this offseason along with eight draft picks. Owner Bud Adams tired of losing and not reaching playoffs. Coach Mike Munchak has made many moves, putting his stamp on Titans to be man to take team to first playoff berth since 2008. Titans will have to survive tough start with two games on road, and schedule with road games in Seattle and Denver.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-14)
NEW FACES: RB Justin Forsett, LB Geno Hayes, DT Roy Miller, CB Alan Ball, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, RT Luke Joeckel, S Johnathan Cyprien, CB Dwayne Gratz, WR Ace Sanders, OW Denard Robinson.
KEY LOSSES: FB Greg Jones, LB Daryl Smith, CB Rashean Mathis, CB Aaron Ross, CB Derek Cox, DT Terrance Knighton, DT C.J. Mosley, S Dawan Landry.
STRENGTHS: RB, OL, TE.
WEAKNESSES: QB, DL.
EXPECTATIONS: Under second-year owner Shad Khan, new general manager Dave Caldwell and new coach Gus Bradley, small-market franchise in midst of third rebuilding project in last five years. Jaguars have missed playoffs 11 of last 13 years, including five straight, and postseason drought likely will continue for team lacking depth. Robinson, listed as "offensive weapon," brings some excitement. Top goal is figuring out whether Blaine Gabbert is franchise QB or they need to draft one in April.
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