With Peyton Manning sidelined for all of 2011, the Houston Texans earned their first division title, playoff berth, and playoff win.  Now their three division rivals either have a quarterback entering their second season or their rookie year. Houston's dominating defense should remain pat and running back Arian Foster can rush for another 1,000 yards; all for another division title.

The below predictions take each AFC South team's schedule and last year's performance under consideration. This year the division is matched up with the NFC North.

Indianapolis Colts

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck does not have history on his side. No rookie quarterback has started all 16 of his team's games and led them to the playoffs. The Colts have the 14th most difficult schedule with road games at the New York Jets in Week 6, at New England in Week 11, at Detroit in Week 13 and at Houston in Week 15.

2011 Record: 2-14

2012 Predicted Record: 5-11


Tennessee Titans

The Titans will need Chris Johnson to repeat his performance from 2009 in order to give quarterback Jake Locker a chance with the passing game. It will be a trying task as Tennessee will face five teams who ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards allowed per game last season: Houston, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Chicago, and Miami.

2011 Record: 9-7

2012 Predicted Record: 6-10

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville's defense was ranked in the top 10 in both rushing and passing, but quarterback Blaine Gabbert was dead last in passer rating. Gabbert must improve and connect with rookie receiver Justin Blackmon to free up the middle for running backs Maurice-Jones Drew and Rashad Jennings. The Jaguars toughest stretch will be from Week 11 to Week 14, when they are at Houston, Tennessee, at Buffalo, and New York Jets.

2011 Record: 5-11

2012 Predicted Record: 6-10


Houston Texans

It is up to the Texans to maintain their form from last season. They will host Green Bay and Baltimore in Week 6 and Week 7, and have three straight road games at Detroit in Week 12, at Tennessee in Week 13, and at New England in Week 14.

2011 Record: 10-6

2012 Predicted Record: 10-6