Head Coach: Bill O’Brien
Heading into his fourth season, O’Brien had a good record in Houston. Finishing 2nd in his first year, then winning the division the last 2 but it is important to remember that the AFC South a competitive division. It’s hard to tell if his job is on the line or not since The Texans have improved slightly every year he’s been there no matter how bad or good the players’ situation around him is. Fun Fact: O’Brien has gone 9-7 every year he’s been in charge. He has gone from 2nd to 1st in the division and from losing in the Wildcard game to winning it. Can they step up again?
2016 Record: 9-7
As mentioned, this has been O’Brien’s Modus Operandi in Houston. Blowing hot and cold all season including the week 11 loss in Mexico to The Raiders, the only saving grace of The Texans season was going 5-1 in their division. They did win a game in the Playoff against The Raiders but I think everyone would agree that was more down in Derek Carr was sitting at home with a busted leg than anything the Texans did on the day. Their season ended going down to The Patriots 34-16
Draft Position:25th. Traded with The Cleveland Browns to move to 12th.
Player To Watch: Deshaun Watson
I bet the guy who runs the sound board in NRG Stadium and Lil’ John both jumped for joy now that The Texans have another player with “Wat” in his name so now they can play that god awful “Turn Down For What” twice as much! Watson was ranked as one if not, the top Quarterback in a draft fairly light on quality QBs. Couple this with the years old Texans’ problem at the position i.e The Texan First String Quarterback Round Robin Invitational (AKA The T.F.S.Q.B.R.R.I), he could be the Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16 guys with Tom Savage playing the rest. Not ideal but is the best you could probably hope for as QB on this team
MVP: The Defensive Ends
I’m not gonna waste time on talking about J.J. Watt. The NFL has mountains of propaganda you can read up with a quick google search. He is one of the best in the position but the hype machine is straight North Korean. However, I will talk about Jadeveon Clowney. Just YouTube his college hits! Jesus wept! Injuries have held him back in the pros but last year with Watt out of action, he stepped up in a big way. If these two can stay healthy, opponents may as well doing The Pamplona Bull Run in concrete Wellies!
Super Bowl Chances: Highly Unlikely
They are just too dominant on D and to inconsistencies on Offense to make an honest challenge. Yes, “Defensive Wins Championships” but that only works if the Offensive can at least do SOMETHING when they have the ball. Their biggest regular season win last year was by 9 points which happened to be Week 1 but got shutout by The Patriots and lost 2 games by 18 points. That says to me, once you can deal with the Defence, the Offence is a pushover.
*Note: in solidarity with my Baltimore brethren, the C-word will not be used to identify this team. If you would like to know why, please head to:
Head Coach: Chuck Pagano
Pagano is an interesting study in the NFL. Head coach of Indy since 2012, he has had 3x 11-5 seasons and 2x 8-8 but everyone seems to want to see him sacked!?!?! Almost universally loved by all the guys he has coaching and worked within his career. For instance, they took on the Ravens in the 2012 Wild Card game and look at the Pagano’s former players react to seeing him before and after the game. This year really is the test to see what will become of Pagano but I would wager there is a tonne of teams who’d give him a job in a heartbeat.
2016 Record: 8-8
Indy literally had a win some, lose some season. Losing the first two games, they then went on to win one week they lose the following week. Another team that at no point in the season had a winning record.
Draft Position: 15th
Player To Watch: Andrew Luck
Really he is the MVP of this team but Luck is not so lucky when it comes to injury. After being sacked 41 times last year, Luck’s O-line last year should be called Sponge Bob it was so yellow and porous. Luck decided to get some work done on his throwing shoulder in the offseason, an issue which has been plaguing him since his injury shortened season in 2015. He starts the pre-season on the PUP list.
MVP: Adam Vinatieri
Controversial pick but bear with me. If you were born on January 1st on the year Vinatieri started his pro career, you could legally drink in the US or a 3-9 year Veteran here in Ireland. In 1996 Vinatieri started in Amsterdam in the NFL Europe before going to The Patriots. After 10 years with them, he wound up at Indy. Over his 21 seasons, he is 84.3% scoring 530 field goals out of 629. That’s 1,590 points. His last missed field goal cost him $500,000 in bonus payments because it dropped his percentage below 90% for that season.
Super Bowl Chances: More Chance Of Winning Kentucky Derby
Since Manning left for The Rockies, Indy haven’t been up to much. Couple that with a surgically repaired QB behind the sieve of an O-line and they have to play defenses like The Seahawks, Broncos, Ravens, and Texans, Luck will be in for a sore season if that line doesn’t improve.
Head Coach: Mike Mularkey
The Titans were blasted from all corners when they announced that Mularkey would be their full-time Head Coach at the start of last season. He had the last laugh when he nearly snuck his team into the Playoffs. That being said, he is the 3rd coach since 2010.
2016 Record: 9-7
Poor results in their division cost them big-time. Losing 4-6 games with AFC South opponents, this really sunk a possibly great season for The Titans.
Draft Position: 18th
Player To Watch: DeMarco Murray
The former Cowboy had a wreck of a season in 2015 when he played for The Eagles. In 2016, he reached the second highest number of rushing yards and TDs for a season in his career. The Titans will be looking for at least a repeat of that performance this year.
MVP: Marcus Mariota
Near 3,500 yards and 26 TDs thrown, 349 yards and 2 TDs rushing, Mariota had an excellent Sophomore year. The number 2 overall pick is seen at the future of the franchise and if the numbers can stay that way, there is no reason why he won’t be.
Super Bowl Chances: Not There Just Yet
While they have talent, I think they don’t have enough yet. They will have a very good chance of playoff football, but don’t think they can hang with the big guns in the AFC.
Head Coach: Doug Marrone
After being promoted after Gus Bradley was fired with 2 games left in the 2016 season, Marrone will take charge of his first full season as Head Coach of The Jags.
2016 Record: 3-13
Hey J.A. how good where The Jags meant to be last year? Well, it turned out they were dog sh*t poor!
Draft Position: 4th
Player To Watch: Leonard Fournette
Hot out of the draft, Fournette is being talked in the highest regard and it’s easy to see why. In 2 and a bit seasons in college, he racked up nearly 4,000 yards rushing, nearly 500 receiving and 41 TDs. Single handedly he won’t fix last year’s mess but he could be a big part of the recovery job.
MVP: Blake Bortles
After taking the starting gig in 2014, Bortles hasn’t let it go. Breaking out in his first full year as a starter in 2015, he regressed slightly in 2016 but that seemed to be a team wide problem. The big issue for him this year is he apparently hasn’t started off too well in pre-season but we all know pre-season football is fake anyway such as The Jags being Playoff contenders last year, right J.A.?
Super Bowl Chances: Nope (Sorry J.A.)
As far as I can see, the reclamation job needed to get The Jags where they need to be to be Super Bowl caliber is only beginning. They have serious talent (mainly because they’ve sucked for so long they get prize picks in the draft) on this team but they haven’t had a winning season since 2007. They haven’t had a Head Coach finish their tenure with a winning percentage since the first one, Tom Coughlin, left in 2002 who’s now back to babysit the current Head Coach. It screams to me that the organisation as a whole needs to get on the same hymn sheet before a serious push can be made. Add the fact your team owner loves to play in London because he owns Fulham FC and he’s trying to get The Jags brand bigger than Jesus over there is a bad sign in my eyes. But in Khan’s defense, he did get rid of that stupid Michael Jackson statue outside Craven Cottage in London so good with the bad, I suppose.