Division Winner: Indianapolis Colts
In each of the three seasons that Chuck Pagano has been the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, they have taken it to another level. Now it’s time to mention them with the higher echelon teams in the AFC, such as the Patriots, Steelers, and Broncos. They have added more pieces on offense such as Andre Johnson, Frank Gore. Gore brings a much-needed spark to a Colts running game that struggled significantly in 2014. My prediction for the Indianapolis Colts in 2015 is that they will be the no one seed in the AFC and contend for a Super Bowl title. However, if they fail to make at least the Super Bowl, head coach Chuck Pagano does not deserve to be fired.
The Houston Texans go into 2015 without their primary weapon in running back Arian Foster. Foster is going to miss the start of the regular season after he suffered a groin injury in training camp. That leaves running backs Alfred Blue and rookie Kenny Hillard to carry the load for the Texans rushing attack. I believe that those two could lead the rushing game until Foster returns, however; their problem is at the quarterback position. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has still not named an opening day starter for the 2015 season. The two quarterbacks that are competing for the starting job are Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet. I predict that the Texans will compete for a playoff spot in 2015, however; the lack of having a proven winner at the quarterback position could hinder them.
The Jacksonville Jaguars took another step towards becoming a formidable force in the AFC South. They drafted running back T.J. Yeldon out of the University of Alabama, in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The presence of T.J. Yeldon and Denard Robinson should provide a lethal rushing attack to complement quarterback Blake Bortles. In regards to the passing attack, the Jaguars added tight end Julius Thomas, who came over via free agency from the Denver Broncos. Thomas performance with the Jaguars will tell if he is indeed a top-eight tight end in the league or a product of Peyton Manning in Denver. In 2015, I predict that the Jaguars will, once again, not make the playoffs, however; don’t be surprised if they start off the season red hot.
The Tennessee Titans decided to draft quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Mariota will indeed struggle in his first season as the Titans starting quarterback. He must learn the ins and outs of a pro-style offense. In regards to becoming a premier passer in the NFL, I believe that Mariota got selected to play pro football in the right place. Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt is noted for working with top-notch quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, and Philip Rivers. However, Marcus Mariota may be his toughest project. In 2015, the Tennessee Titans will not make the playoffs due to Mariota having no experience at the pro level.
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