In recent years, the AFC South has ultimately come down to a race between two teams: the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans.
Houston won the division in 2015 thanks in large part to a key win over the Colts in December, and it was their third division title in five years. The Colts, meanwhile, set an NFL record from 2012-2015 by winning 16 division games in a row - complete dominance of division opponents not seen before in NFL history. It’s easy to see that these two teams have been the leaders of the division, and that could be the case once again in 2016.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will have something to say about that, but the Texans and Colts are both expected to compete for the division title as well. Their first meeting will come in week six, as the Colts travel to Houston for a Sunday Night Football matchup. Their second meeting will come in week 14, with the Texans coming to Indianapolis for a late-season game that could prove key.
SB Nation’s site covering the Texans, Battle Red Blog, helped us learn more about the Texans entering the 2016 season. Here’s what they had to say:
Notable free agent additions:
(QB) Brock Osweiler, (RB) Lamar Miller, (OG) Jeff Allen
Notable free agent departures:
(OG) Brandon Brooks, (C) Ben Jones, (RB) Arian Foster
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
(WR) Will Fuller, (C/OG) Nick Martin, (WR) Braxton Miller, and Tyler Ervin (EDGE, a new hybrid slot WR/RB position we created just for him)
Biggest offseason addition:
(QB) Brock Osweiler
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
How does Brock Osweiler do as the new franchise quarterback? Can he develop chemistry with his young arsenal of weapons? Can he adjust to a new offense under Bill O’Brien? Can he at the very least be good enough to guide this loaded roster to some wins without screwing it up?
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
Kevin Johnson cementing his status as an elite young corner, Jaelen Strong potentially breaking out as DeAndre Hopkins’ partner in crime, J.J. Watt going on a quest to win his fourth DPOY trophy, and of course this team taking the next step from division winner to AFC contender.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
J.J. Watt recovering from his various ailments, Kevin Johnson rehabbing from a broken foot and broken wrist, and Duane Brown coming back from a torn quad.