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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
How I See It: AFC South Stock Watch

By Paul Kuharsky

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

The division’s status: Early in the season the AFC South was regarded as one of the NFL’s toughest divisions. But a “down” year for the Colts and poor, poor play by the Titans and Texans have made it less than mediocre. The division has 28 wins, ahead of only the much maligned NFC West.

Coaching stock: Gary Kubiak, Jeff Fisher and Jack Del Rio are all likely to have heart-to-hearts with their owners early next week and while I don’t expect three changes, we’re likely to have one or two. The three owners have been patient, but each will be considering whether it’s time for a change.

Tennessee’s play in the AFC: Only the Carolina Panthers, who’ve clinched the No. 1 pick in the draft, have a worse conference record than Tennessee’s 3-8. No one is worse in the AFC and the other teams with just three AFC wins aren’t teams you want to be grouped with -- Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Denver.

RISING

Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas had another solid game for the Jaguars, snagging six passes for 96 yards.
The Colts’ run defense: Defensive tackle Daniel Muir was out with an injury, but the Colts rallied to the ball and really limited Oakland’s run threat with Antonio Johnson playing a bigger role on the interior line. We saw the defensive speed at work in chasing people down and bottling them up.

Mike Thomas, Jaguars receiver: He had six catches for 96 yards in the overtime loss to Washington and continues to establish himself as a consistent and reliable weapon. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter knows how to deploy him and David Garrard's got a comfort level throwing to him. Thomas should be a key piece of the Jaguars’ offense for some time.

Jared Cook, Titans tight end: The wait has been a long one. But in a terrible game for the Titans in Kansas City, Cook was the bright spot with five catches for 96 yards. It would be a great thing for the team if he could have a second productive game in a row heading into the offseason.