AFC South: 2013 NFL All-Division Team

All-AFC South: Houston Texans

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
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NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The odd thing about the Houston Texans' nine Pro Bowl selections last season was how under-represented the defense was. Seven of the nine Texans who went to Hawaii last season were offensive players, including quarterback Matt Schaub, who told me upon arrival that he was confident he could lead the Texans to the Super Bowl.

This year's All-AFC South team -- voted on by Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco, Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky, Colts reporter Mike Wells and I -- has a similar tilt. Five Texans offensive players are represented -- receiver Andre Johnson, guard Wade Smith, center Chris Myers, left tackle Duane Brown and running back Ben Tate. Meanwhile, defensively only ends J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith made the cut. Texans punter Shane Lechler kept the special teams portion from being an all-Jaguars affair.

My biggest disagreement with my colleagues is on the inside linebacker. I think Brian Cushing is the best inside linebacker in the division, even though he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. Until he got hurt, Pro Football Focus consistently ranked him as one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL.

All-AFC South: Tennessee Titans

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
AM ET
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans account for seven of 23 spots on offense and defense in ESPN.com’s All-AFC South Team for 2013.

The team was pieced together by a vote of the four writers who cover the division. That’s Mike Wells on the Indianapolis Colts, Tania Ganguli on the Houston Texans, Mike DiRocco on the Jacksonville Jaguars and me on the Titans.

Receiver Kendall Wright, running back Chris Johnson and right guard Chance Warmack are on the All-AFC South offense.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty and strong safety Bernard Pollard are on the 12-man defense; the extra spot helped us meld 4-3 and 3-4 defenses.

I didn’t vote for Warmack, as I thought he was too inconsistent. I would have preferred we left a guard slot, or even both guard slots, blank. Offensive line play in the division was generally poor.

I don’t like having two running backs on the team. No one uses enough fullback to warrant one here, but that doesn't mean we should have a second tailback. I pushed for three wide receivers instead, but was overruled by the editor overseeing the project and putting together the balloting.

Receiver T.Y. Hilton of the Colts is a huge omission here, and he’d be on my team ahead of Ben Tate or Johnson. If not three-wide we should have gone two-tight. But even with one tight end, I voted Delanie Walker ahead of Coby Fleener.

All-AFC South: Indianapolis Colts

January, 2, 2014
1/02/14
10:00
AM ET
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have a problem against teams in the AFC South this season. They went a perfect 6-0, and four of those victories were by eight points or more.

You wouldn’t have known that the Colts won the division just by looking at ESPN.com's All-AFC South team, because they had only six players on it. The Houston Texans had the most players named to the team with eight. The Texans opened the season with the talent to possibly make the Super Bowl, but their season turned into a disaster, as they lost their final 14 games.

Tennessee Titans receiver Kendall Wright edged out Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton to be the second receiver named to the team behind Houston’s Andre Johnson. Wright had more catches than Hilton, but the Colts receiver had more yards -- barely -- and more touchdowns than Wright.

An argument could be made that the Colts deserve more than six players on the team, but they’ll gladly take their current situation -- the playoffs -- over Houston’s.

NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

 
The Jaguars may not have had anyone voted to the Pro Bowl, but the team is pretty well represented on the All-AFC South team.

Linebacker Paul Posluszny, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, linebacker Geno Hayes, kicker Josh Scobee, and kick returner Jordan Todman made the team, which was chosen by the reporters covering the four teams.

Posluszny finished second in the NFL with 161 tackles (Cincinnati’s Vontaze Burfict had 171) to go along with 3 sacks, 10 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, 6 quarterback pressures and 2 interceptions. He clearly was the Jaguars’ best defensive player and arguably was the team’s best overall player.

He was the lone Jaguars player who should have earned Pro Bowl honors, but he was hurt by playing for a small-market team that finished 4-12.

Marks posted a career year in his first season with the Jaguars, making 34 tackles, breaking up eight passes, forcing two fumbles, and recovering three fumbles to go along with four sacks and nine quarterback pressures. He had 3 sacks, 8 passes defensed, 3 forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries in his first four seasons with Tennessee.

The team was so pleased with his performance that last week they signed him to a four-year contract extension reportedly worth up to $22 million.

Hayes played through a right knee injury much of the season and made 78 tackles, intercepted one pass, and broke up three others. The injury got progressively worse but he missed just one game, the season finale against Indianapolis, and will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage and remove some loose particles in his knee.

Scobee made 23 of 25 field goal attempts this season. His only miss came from 60 yards and he had a 49-yard attempt blocked. Scobee was 15-for-15 from 39 yards and in. Todman averaged 27.4 yards per kickoff return, seventh-best in the NFL. That was the best mark in the division. Houston’s Keshawn Martin finished eighth in the league (26.3 yards per return.)

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