Colts Again In AFC South Odds
Since its creation, the AFC South division title has gone to the Indianapolis Colts six of eight times. Barring an injury to Peyton Manning, the Colts should make it seven this season. The Colts won their sixth AFC South title last season and will head into this year as a -240 favorite to repeat. Leading them there will once again be Manning and the Colts' potent offense. Manning's got an overabundance of quality receivers this season including Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, tight end Dallas Clark, and the returning Anthony Gonzalez.
As long as he stays healthy, Manning should once again eclipse the 4,000 yards plateau and 30 touchdowns. Joseph Addai and Donald Brown should provide a solid one-two punch out of the backfield so Indy won't have to rely solely on the pass. It should make them favorites on the NFL point spread many times in 2010. One place the Colts never seem to get the respect they deserve is on defense. The Colts boasted the No. 8 scoring defense in the NFL last season, and with their veteran stars all returning they should remain a solid unit. The Colts' defense could actually be even better if they can finally get a full healthy season out of defensive leader Bob Sanders.
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Houston Texans (+350) Could this finally be the year the Texans take the next step and make their first appearance in the postseason? On paper they definitely have the talent to get there. Houston has arguably the best receiver in football in Andre Johnson, and along with Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, and a now healthy Owen Daniels, quarterback Matt Schaub has plenty of options in the passing attack. Arian Foster and Steve Slaton will battle for the No. 1 running back job, although a committee approach could be their best option considering how Slaton has run out of gas late in the season in the past. The defense, led by former No. 1 pick Mario Williams, should make a name for itself this season with Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans, and Kareem Jackson ready to step up. Houston may not be able to overtake Indy, but a Wild Card spot should be well within reach. Tennessee Titans (+450) The Titans have the top running back in the NFL in Chris Johnson, but that likely won't be enough to get them back to the top of the AFC South. Johnson was a beast last season and he should continue to run though defenses. The big question for Tennessee is how will Vince Young perform as the starting QB? Young doesn't have a great receiving corps to rely on, which could lead to mistakes when he leaves the pocket. The defense lost a lot with the departures of Kyle Vanden Bosch, Keith Bulluck, and Jevon Kearse and will not be able to steal games for Tennessee like they have in the past. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1800) The Jaguars are in a similar boat as Tennessee. They have an outstanding running back in Maurice Jones-Drew, but their quarterback and receivers don't rate as high. David Garrard has to survive behind a rebuilding offensive line and make do with a bunch of receivers led by Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas. Another losing season in Jacksonville appears on the horizon.