Digesting Why the AFC South is So Bad
By: Langston Newsome
Every year fans across the U.S crave the sport which no other country can rival: Football. The NFL has dominated “the Lord’s Day” for years now and has begun to branch out, now gaining massive viewership on Mondays and (maybe) Thursdays. The point is, the NFL has a unique market. It also has viewers that will watch it regardless of the matchup, scandals, concussions and most importantly bad play. But this year is on a new level. The product being brought out on the field is horrible.
I could rant about the horrible kicking taking place each week (Yes Roberto Aguayo, I’m talking about you. Sorry for slandering your name last year Blair Walsh), or the London games (Why does the NFL consistently send terrible teams over there. We want them to actually like football), or the two disgraceful ties that took place in weeks seven and eight (I hate kickers). But one glaring, egregious part of the NFL won’t leave my eyes: The AFC South.
Don’t let the records deceive you, none of these teams are good. The Houston Texans (5-3) and Tennessee Titans (4-4) are in the most pointless playoff race of this year. Basically deciding who wants to lose in the first round of the playoff and a receive lower draft pick.
While Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars are just awful. No need to really break it down further. Andrew Luck and Ty Hilton deserve more help offensively and the Jags are a humongous let down. What happened to Blake Bortles taking that next step?
The division-leading Texans are ranked 17th in ESPN’s Week 9 Power Rankings, with the 2-5 Carolina Panthers ahead of them. Every other team below 23rd, with the rest of the irrelevant non-playoff teams.
Here is each team’s biggest flaw:
Houston Texans: Brock Osweiler, QB
How smart do the Denver Broncos look for letting this man go? I’ve been extremely wary of Osweiler since last year. When he couldn’t beat out Peyton Manning for the starting job, despite Manning’s inability to throw more than 25 yards. What is Osweiler? He nowhere near the Elite quarterbacks, same with the second or third tier. He isn’t even good enough to be considered a game manager. With only 1719 yards and 9 touchdowns through eight games, the Texans have to be kicking themselves over the 37 million dollars of guaranteed money they owe him. His total QBR of 48.4 is 29th in the NFL. Not to mention his nine interceptions thrown this year. Which is tied for the third most in the NFL with Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston.
Tennessee Titans: Just Not There Yet
The Titans are definitely improving; already improving on last season’s record of 3-13. But the team is still a year or two away from really making any noise in the AFC. In his second year Marcus Mariota is steadily improving with 14 touchdowns this year. The addition of Demarco Murray has expedited their growth, and it has been great to see him return to form. But this team simply just isn’t good enough.
Indianapolis Colts: Defense/ Protecting Andrew Luck
The Colts offensive line isn’t good. We knew that going into the season and a terrible year in 2015. However, this year may be worse as the Colts lead the league in sacks (31) and ranked 18th in rushing offense. You just can’t truly evaluate Andrew Luck until he has a competent offensive line. Which is part of the problem because I don’t understand the hype around him, he is a slightly above average quarterback. Defensively the Colts are a joke. They are 29th in total defense and 30th in passing defense. Offensively the Colts don’t have the firepower to overcome this.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Everything but the defense
Some things just fall apart. The Jags were supposed to be taking the next this year, similarly like the Oakland Raiders. Blake Bortles was going to take that next step, drafted two top ten talents Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, and Gus Bradley had this team moving in the right direction. But it just hasn’t clicked for the Jags. Bortles has 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, and the Jags are 19th in passing offense. Also Jacksonville is 30th in rushing offense, with only three touchdowns on the year. Offensively this team just doesn’t do anything well. But defensively is 10th in total defense and has surprised many.
(Featured Image: Keith Allison, Flickr)