The AFC South probably won't be quite as easy to win next year. Oh don't get me wrong, I still see us taking the division crown, but the times they are a'changing in the good old AFC South. Exactly how things change will depend largely on how Houston and Jacksonville spend their early draft picks.
I think the worst case scenario for us would be this:
Houston (1st overall): Teddy Bridgewater/Johnny Manziel.
Jacksonville (3rd overall): Blake Bortles/Johnny Manziel.
Although many consider Bridgewater to be the best quarterback in the draft, I think Manziel going to Houston could be the worst thing for us. Forget your hatred of the Johnny Football hype for a moment and think about how close the Texans are to being the playoff team they were in 2012. (Also remember how well Terrelle Pryor and Russell Wilson ran the ball against us this year.) Arian Foster will be back next season and he's likely to remind us all why he was considered a top five running back before going down with an injury. Combine him with Manziel's ability to run, Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins stretching the field, and I think you've got a damned good offense. Bridgewater may pose a greater long term threat, but I think he'll take more time to develop. Besides, we have yet to see how he performs against elite competition.
Defensively, we all know about JJ Watt. With his best buddy Brian Cushing back in the mix, the Texan's defense is likely to be dominant up front once again. Their secondary on the other hand, is unlikely to be strong enough to stand up to our revived receiving corps.
Personally, I'm hoping the Texans take Jadaveon Clowney. Although that will make their front seven downright scary, it's still better for us if they have to continue to search for an option at quarterback. I'm telling you, don't sleep on this team. Give them a decent signal-caller and they can make a playoff run.
Speaking of quarterbacks, for a while now, we've been reaping the benefits of poor and inconsistent play at that position from the Jaguars and Titans. Personally, I think Gus Bradley has done a good job with what he has down in Jacksonville. A quarterback like Bortles or Manziel would be able to take advantage of the talented young wideouts Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III. And if Maurice Jones Drew decides to stay, the Jaguars could be putting some points on the board in 2014. I'm not saying they'll make the playoffs, or even post a winning record, but I think the days of the Jags being the worst team in the league will soon be behind us.
As for the Titans...
I really don't know what I expect from that team next year. They were a little bit below average this season. Their quarterback, Whatshisname, was playing well enough before he went down with an injury and was replaced by Thatguyfromharvard. They have a new coach, Ken Whisenhunt, who will likely try to do some things to help his team win football games. What those things will be remains shrouded in mystery.
So those are my thoughts. What are y'all expecting from the competition next year?