AFC South: Faith Hill

Best of NFL: AFC South teams

June, 30, 2011
Best of NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

As part of Best of the NFL Week on, here are five bests for the AFC South:

[+] EnlargeFaith Hill and Tim McGraw
Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesFaith Hill and Tim McGraw are two of the Titans' more famous fans.
Best celebrity fans -- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill bring a good deal of star power to LP Field and are the headliners of a large country music contingent that counts the Tennessee Titans as its hometown team. (There is a pretty good stream of musicians who pass through to take on the national anthem.) Hill picked games in print against staffers from The Tennessean last season and rare was the week when she didn’t go with her team despite its struggles.

Best logo -- We hit this in our Power Rankings of helmets. It’s hard not to love that Colts horseshoe. First, it’s a classic with a lot of history in two great cities. Second, it’s a good luck charm so long as it’s pointed the right way. It’s practically stitched onto the image that comes into my head when I think of Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. Given the divisional competition -- three cookie-cutter “modern” NFL Properties designs (OK, the Texans’ isn’t too bad), this is a runaway.

Best tailgating -- It’s a Houston claim to fame. I get steady invitations to stop by but have always resisted, because it’s not part of a reporter’s pregame routine. Perhaps my boss will let me alter a game day to test things out for myself. It’s a venue where cars line up well before the gates open and where there were huge complaints from non-ticket-holders because of a new rule forbidding them from taking up coveted parking lot space for pregame partying.

Best shot at HOF, non-QB -- Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is closer to the end of his career than Andre Johnson, so he gets the vote here. He’s 31 but remains a consistent force who’s a threat on every play. Offensive coordinators, left tackles and quarterbacks have to worry about him all the time, and game plans are built around slowing him. A high percentage of his sacks come with forced fumbles. With a few more good sack totals, his numbers will be at the right level to earn induction.

Best mascot -- Much to rival T-Rac’s chagrin in Nashville, I am going with wise-guy Jaxson De Ville of the Jaguars. Admittedly, it may be because I see him less and absence makes the heart grow fonder. But he’s clever and edgy in a way that extends his appeal beyond people whose age is in single digits. He’s an athlete who’s bungeed onto the field and flipped off a light tower before rip lining, but his softer side is unafraid to dance to Michael Jackson. He's also been on fire and caught a last-second game-winning field goal.

RTC: Jim Irsay opens Twitter account

December, 3, 2010
Reading the coverage…

Houston Texans

It was the old fade pattern, says John McClain.

Just another squandered opportunity, says Richard Justice.

The failure to finish was a familiar scenario, says Jon Marks.

Andre Johnson played through an ankle injury, write McClain and Dale Robertson.

McClain’s report card.

Alan Burge wishes the Texans could blow the stuff up already.

Indianapolis Colts

Sunday’s Dallas-Indianapolis game brings together the league’s two most popular teams, says Phil Richards.

Jim Irsay has joined the Twitter world, says Bob Kravitz.

Jim Caldwell was told the league missed a pass interference call in the San Diego game, says Mike Chappell.

Peyton Manning doesn’t look like he’ll be MVP. Here’s who may be from Phillip B. Wilson.

Here’s why the Colts can’t just draft a left tackle, from Nate Dunlevy. Like I’ve said, it’s why they have to target one and move up for him.

It seems that the one thing Donald Brown was drafted to do is something the Colts don't do anymore, says Stampede Blue.

Jacksonville Jaguars

A playoff ticket plan is in the works, says Vito Stellino. This is not at all unusual for a team still in contention at this point in the season.

The Jaguars are ready for the chippy Cortland Finnegan, says Tania Ganguli.

Stellino and Ganguli preview the Jaguars-Titans game. (Video.)

Vic Ketchman can’t wait to watch.

The Jaguars need a guy who can take the ball away, says Mike Corrao.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans don’t believe they lack control, says John Glennon.

Randy Moss is concerned with wins not catches, writes Jim Wyatt.

Marques Douglas made an impact, says Glennon and Wyatt.

Tennessee wants to slow down Maurice Jones-Drew.

Faith Hill’s streak is over, says Bob McClellan. She’s finally picked against the Titans.