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TEAM NEEDS: AFC SOUTH
published 02/22/13 12:12pm
Photo: Zuma Press / Icon SMI
(12-4 record in 2012)
The Texans had a great season in 2012 (tying for the second best record in the AFC) but hit a wall in the playoffs, losing to the Pats 41-28 in the divisional game. They still have some issues to resolve before being considered as top contenders.
Primary need: A right tackle. They were already thinking of drafting one last year but went in another direction and instead opted to put Derek Newton at the position with very mixed results. That offensive line definitely needs some upgrading.
Other needs: The wide receiver position is also an issue. Andre Johnson remains the undisputable top target there but they lack a true No. 2 on the opposite side of the field. Kevin Walter provides depth but he’s not the solution. The linebacker position also needs some upgrading to help Brian Cushing at the second level.
(11-5 record in 2012)
The Colts are right back on track. They went from a 2-14 record in 2011 to 11-5 last season thanks to the stellar play of quarterback Andrew Luck. The future looks bright for the franchise but they still have some issues to address.
Primary need: The offensive line was a real weakness last season as Luck was sacked 41 times. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo is solid but both guard positions represent a serious headache. Mike McGlynn and Joe Reitz are more rotational guys than quality starters.
Other needs: Depth at secondary. They have good starting corners Vontae Davis and Jerraud Powers) and very capable starting safeties Antoine Bethea and Tom Zbikowski) but not much depth behind those four. The nose tackle position also needs to be addressed since free agent Antonio Johnson is not expected back.
(6-10 record in 2012)
The Titans are in rebuilding mode and it won’t be easy. To say the least, they were very inconsistent last season and more worrisome, they suffered many blowouts. They have some serious areas to address if they want to be considered as a playoff team.
Primary need: They have two in fact but the most pressing one is at safety (the other being at guard). Wideouts literally feasted on the secondary last season as the Titans allowed 31 receiving touchdowns, ranking 31st in the league right ahead of the league-worst Eagles with 33. This is a considerable issue.
Other needs: As mentioned above, the guard position is also a concern even if Steve Hutchinson and Leroy Harris remain healthy (they were both injured last season, missing 12 games combined). An upgrade there should help both the running and passing games. The center position could also be problematic if free agent Fernando Velasco decides to leave.
(2-14 record in 2012)
Jaguars fans realized the hard way last season that Blaine Gabbert wasn’t the franchise quarterback they needed for the team to return to respectability. The result turned into a 2-14 record, a league-worst (along with the Chiefs).
Primary need: A quarterback, obviously. Gabbert’s backup Chad Henne can be good in spurts but definitely doesn’t possess the tools to be an efficient regular starter. That critical position needs to be addressed soon.
Other needs: Like any 2-14 team, there a lot of problem areas that could use some help in Jacksonville. At linebacker, Paul Posluszny in the middle is a lock but Russell Allen and Julian Stanford are average at best and the likely departure of free agent Daryl Smith just adds to the headache. The offensive line also needs a boost as that unit allowed 40 sacks last season.