The Indianapolis Colts have been the perennial favorite in Super Bowl odds in the AFC South for well over a decade due to quarterback Peyton Manning. But when Manning went down and missed the entire season that completely flipped the expectations, if not the results.
Among the surprise teams in 2011 was the Tennessee Titans as their first year under coach Mike Munchak proved to be a success as they were in playoff contention until the final day of the season. Munchak has been rumored to be a potential candidate for the Penn State college job but his success at getting the Tennessee Titans franchise back into relevancy could keep him in Nashville for the foreseeable future.
A big leap was finally made by the Houston Texans as they proved to be just a bit better than the Tennessee Titans in taking their first ever AFC South title and playoff berth in franchise history. While it took Gary Kubiak far longer than expected, the coach did a masterful job of shuttling through a serious of quarterbacks due to the injury bug and is to be commended.
The Jacksonville Jaguars finished above the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South this past season but the future is not very bright for the Jaguars. They are stuck with a quarterback in Blaine Gabbert that is not of NFL quality and their defense is poor. The only positive is running back Maurice Jones-Drew who amazingly won the NFL rushing title this season on one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Next year would figure to make for a wide open AFC South race with the Houston Texans looking to defend their title. The Tennessee Titans should again be a team that could make a run for the title and not to be forgotten is Indianapolis. There are major questions for the Colts heading into 2012 though, especially regarding the status of quarterback Peyton Manning. The Colts just blew up their front office and they could be in potential rebuilding mode. A trade of Manning could be possible as the Colts are expected to take Stanford’s Andrew Luck first in the NFL Draft as their quarterback of the future. As for Jacksonville, until they realize that Gabbert is not the quarterback of their future there is very little hope they can be a contending team and impact Super Bowl action.