There are only two reasons the Colts went to the playoffs in 2013:
- Quarterback Andrew Luck
- The chump division that is the AFC South
Indianapolis was 6-0 in the South for the first time since 2009. However, the 2009 version of the AFC South had two teams (other than the Colts) at or above .500. Even the lowly Jaguars won 7 games that year. In 2013, the South featured the 2-14 Texans, the 4-12 Jaguars, and a 7-9 Titans team with Ryan Fitzpatrick (HAHAHAHAHAHA) at quarterback.
All pushovers. All chumps. All lunch meat.
Anything less than a 6-0 sweep would have been a disappointment.
Understandably, after both the Texans and the Titans had disappointing seasons, there were changes made to their coaching staffs. In the case of Gary Kubiak in Houston, I personally think he got a raw deal after 8 years of building the Texans into respectability. The man suffered a stroke DURING A GAME against the Colts, and, two months after dealing with this, Kubiak was fired.
Cold-blooded, Houston. Cold-blooded.
The Titans also parted ways with their head coach, Mike Munchak. Much to his credit, Munchak reportedly could have kept his job, but refused to fire certain assistants that the front office felt weren't good enough to remain on staff. A colleague over at Music City Miracles, our Titans blog, viewed this as Munchak "quitting" on the team. Personally, if the front office wants to meddle in who a head coach has on staff they should put on headsets and coach themselves. As it was, Munchak stood his ground and the front office parted ways with him. That's not quitting. That's standing up for your people.
Replacing both Kubiak and Munchak are Bill O'Brien and Ken Whisenhunt, respectively. Both have excellent reputations and, in the case of Whisenhunt, Super Bowl experience.
Then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are coached by media darling Gus Bradley, who brings ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY to his practices. Unfortunately, he didn't have a QUARTERBACK QUARTERBACK QUARTERBACK in 2014, and no matter how much ENERGY one brings, a team without a QB is just another notch in the "W" column for an opponent who does. Thus, the Jags had another double-digit loss season last year, their third in three years.
Both the Colts and their fans should not expect the AFC South to stay crappy in 2014.
Over the next week, we'll be exploring each AFC South team and how they will all be better this year. Chief among these reasons are the fact that the Texans and the Jaguars have the No. 1 and No. 3 overall picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. It is extremely likely that one of them will select Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a dynamic player who has the potential to develop into a franchise quarterback.
Because of this, the Colts front office and their coaching staff cannot afford to duplicate many of the mistakes they made last year. This offseason must be flawless. Otherwise, it is very possible that another team in the South could overtake the Colts in 2014.