Horton: Titans, Colts have top duos

June, 29, 2012
6/29/12
2:06
PM ET
Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. takes a look at the best duos in the AFC in this Insider piece Insider.

The AFC South is represented twice:

3. LT Michael Roos and RT David Stewart, Tennessee Titans

Horton: “Not a lot of people talk about these tackles, but when you watch them on film, they are very impressive. The strength of their game is pass protection, and they anchor a unit that only gave up 24 sacks a year ago. Both of them have excellent footwork, and while Roos is a finesse and technician player, Stewart is a physical mauler. They rarely get beaten on the edge, and if they had better play from the inside guys, this would be the best O-line in the NFL.”

My thoughts: He’s right on the money here, and it’s another reason there is a great deal of pressure on new comer Steve Hutchinson and the two young holdovers who weren’t great last year, Eugene Amano and Leroy Harris. (More on that here.)

8. DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts

Horton: “Another veteran duo, Freeney and Mathis will be switching from their longtime 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme. That will force them to stand up as OLBs on early downs, but in four-man nickel fronts, they will move back to DE. Their tackling numbers are dropping (only 62 combined tackles in 2011), but their pass-rush pressure is still good, with a combined 18 sacks. Freeney is a really quick edge rusher with a patented swim move, while Mathis is a relentless pass-rusher who plays to the whistle every down.”

My thoughts: Chuck Pagano isn’t going to mess with success. He’ll maximize the opportunities for Freeney and Mathis to do what they do best as part of a more complex and less predictable front. They both seem energized by the change.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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