Tuesday, July 19, 2011
AFC South dominant team 2014-16
By Paul Kuharsky
Dominant team? The NFL’s era of dominant teams has been over for a while. We see worst-to-first stories all the time.
The AFC South has had a dominant team since realignment in 2002, with the Colts winning seven of nine division titles and going to the playoffs every season.
By 2014 the Jaguars, Texans and Titans are hoping Peyton Manning's powers will have weakened and that the path to the top will be less difficult to climb. My guess is it will be as key pieces such as Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis get older, too.
Matt Schaub could be working under a different coach in a different system but it’s possible he’s playing his best football on his best team. I expect either Blaine Gabbert or Jake Locker will be really starting to get the NFL game and having success. (History suggests the other first-round quarterback could be well on his way to petering out.)
It will be about more than quarterbacks, of course.
It’s difficult to project how the three teams other than the Colts will be doing. Will the Jaguars rise behind their duo of defensive tackles? Will Chris Johnson continue to run away from people? Will the Texans be a tough-to-figure 3-4 defense?
Gary Kubiak and Jack Del Rio could be long gone and it’s no lock that Jim Caldwell will still be in place. Will Mike Munchak have come and gone or be somewhat established as the Titans’ coach?
A dominant team?
I think it’s more likely we see three different teams win division titles in the AFC South in 2014, 2015 and 2016 than one team win it all three times.