Kings of the South? Think Texans.
(J.J. Watt photo courtesy of the Houston Texans)
(Brock Osweiler photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos)
Talk of Fame Network
The Houston Texans were the best team in the AFC South in 2015 without a quarterback. They have one now in 2016, and that makes them the favorite to repeat as division champion.
That was the conclusion our listeners and readers reached in last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. We asked whom the best team in the AFC South was, and the Texans won going away with 60 percent of the vote. Indianapolis and Jacksonville both received 20 percent of the vote, and the Tennessee Titans were shut out.
The Texans have the best defense in the division – one of the best defenses in the NFL, in fact. That defense was strong enough to carry an offense that started four different quarterbacks last season and won games with all four. Houston made a substantial investment to solve their quarterbacking woes, signing Brock Osweiler away from the Super Bowl-champion Denver Broncos with a four-year, $72 million contract.
The Texans also signed guard Jeff Allen away from the Kansas City Chiefs and RB Lamar Miller away from the Miami Dolphins to fortify the offense. Osweiler already has one of the game’s best wideouts in DeAndre Hopkins, and coach Bill O’Brien gave him two speedy options through the draft in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller.
If Osweiler, a veteran of only seven NFL starts, proves worthy of his contract, the Texans could become Super Bowl contenders for years to come. The defense is already at that level with J.J. Watt chasing down quarterbacks.
Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Clark Judge and Rick Gosselin all agreed with the poll's result.
"The Texans rule with or without a quarterback," Borges said, "but they just may finally have one."
Quarterback is also key for the Colts. They went to the 2014 AFC title game with Andrew Luck having a Pro Bowl season in 2014. But when injuries limited him to just nine starts in 2015, the Colts slid back to 8-8. Quarterback also gives the Jaguars hope. Blake Bortles passed for 4,400 yards with 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in just his second season as an NFL starter in 2015.