- Hou (11-5). With Slaton, Owen Daniels, Andre Johnson and the quietly good Kevin Walter, it won’t take miracles from Matt Schaub to score points this year. But the key could be a quality defense. Even though Dunta Robinson (who just ended his holdout) will no doubt suffer the holdout-hamstring-pull soon that will dog him all season, the Houston defense has some high quality players. Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing, (and a healthy Dunta) make for a solid young nucleus. This is Houston’s year in the AFC South.
- Indy (10-6). Funny I hadn’t read anything until yesterday about Bob Sanders being injured again. He’s apparently expected to miss several early games (through week 5 some say). This is significant. As much as Manning and the offense may do to put up points, the D could struggle to contain offenses like Houston.
- Tenn (8-8). I think this team overachieved last year. While I am rooting hard for new defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil (yes, the bridge of his nose is still bleeding), I think the loss of Jim Schwartz could spell some trouble for their D. I was going to put them below .500 but Jeff Fisher just seems to figure out how to win sometimes.
- Jax (5-11). This team is tough to predict. I believe I’ve been way off on them the last 3 years. This team seems to revolve around Maurice Jones-Drew in part, I think, because it does revolve around him. In fact, I’m having a hard time writing about anyone else. Sure, there’s Torry Holt, and Troy “he’s turned the corner, seriously…seriously” Williamson…ok, I’m just bored writing this…they’ll be weak.