COMPETITIVE DIVISION AWAITS COLTS

Since the NFL adopted divisional realignment in 2002, the Indianapolis Colts have been successful in the AFC South. The Colts have won the division seven of the nine years and still qualified the playoffs in the two years they finished as the runner-up. The 2011 season will present a stiff challenge.

Indianapolis* *The winner of the AFC South has had at least 12 wins in seven of the nine years the division has been in existence.  The division has also sent six teams to the playoffs via the Wild Card since 2002.          

For the Colts the number one goal and the only direct way to get into the playoffs remains the same—win the AFC South.

"That's correct, that's exactly right," head coach Jim Caldwell said in regard on setting the Colts' sights on winning the AFC South.  "That's the only situation where you know exactly what's going to happen.  If you happen to be able to come out on top of your division, then you have the opportunity to get into the playoffs.  So it's always been a dogfight for that spot."        

"I think year in and year out it's been a highly, highly competitive division, and I don't anticipate it's going to be any different than that.  You've got good backs in all three places, and some of the best backs in league. We're going to have our hands full."

Houston Texans (0-0)

*Preseason Results: *August 15 – Beat New York Jets, 20-16; August 20 – Beat New Orleans, 27-14; August 27 – Beat San Francisco, 30-7; September 1 – Lost to Minnesota, 28-0.

*2011 Preseason Recap: *The majority of the headlines surrounding the Texans in training camp in the preseason were how the club would make the switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense under new coordinator in Wade Phillips. 

The Texans defensive unit allowed just more than 16 points per game in their four preseason outings.  Defensively, the unit only allowed 150.5 yards per game passing during the preseason, a total that ranked second among all NFL teams.  The Texans also finished tied for second in the league in most sacks during the preseason with 15.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Texans finished the preseason fifth overall in the NFL in rushing yards and held a 135.8 average.

*This Week: *September 11 vs. Colts (0-0).

*Quote: *Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on the Texans heading into the 2011 season:

"They've probably added a little more of a spice to their repertoire, in terms of changing up their defensive look with a new coordinator.  Obviously, they have an offense that has a lot of power and punch, so it's going to be tough."

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)

*Preseason Results: *August 11 – Lost to New England, 47-12; August 19 – Beat Atlanta, 15-13; August 27 – Lost to Buffalo in overtime, 35-32; September 1 – Lost to St. Louis, 24-17.

*2011 Preseason Recap: *The Jaguars will have a new quarterback under center in 2011.  The team released long-time starter David Garrard on Tuesday and named Luke McCown the starter for their season opener against the Titans.  In the preseason, McCown was 12 of 18 passing for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  He will be backed up by 2011 first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert.  Gabbert his 35 of 70 preseason passes for 365 yards, with one touchdown and interception.

The Jaguars have thrived on a sound running game and solid defense in the past.  The 2011 preseason saw Jacksonville surrender only 3.3 yards, an average that tied for third-best in the NFL. 

Talented kicker Josh Scobee remains a potent weapon for Jacksonville.  He hit eight of nine field goals in preseason.

*This Week: *September vs. Tennessee (0-0).

*Quote: *Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on the Jaguars heading into the 2011 season:

"I think Jacksonville is going to be tough, hard-nosed, and as difficult to deal with as they are every year."

Tennessee Titans (0-0)

Preseason Results: August 13 – Beat Minnesota, 14-3; August 20 – Lost to St. Louis, 17-16; August 27 – Beat Chicago, 14-13; September 1 – Beat New Orleans, 32-9.

*2011 Preseason Recap: *The Titans bring in a new regime in 2011 with first-year head coach Mike Munchak assuming sideline control.  Munchak is a former offensive line coach and even without running back Chris Johnson, the Titans still finished eighth in NFL rushing yards during the preseason.

The Titans showed an ability to take the football from opponents during the preseason.  Tennessee forced 10 turnovers which tied for first among all NFL teams.  The Titans held a 9 turnover ratio, ranking second in the NFL.

*This Week: *September 11 at Jacksonville (0-0).

*Quote: *Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on the Titans new quarterback and head coach:

"They have a very experienced guy in (Matt) Hasselbeck, a very talented guy in their backup, and they still have players at up front, at running back and good defensive personnel.  They're going to be able to run the ball, and that's what, I'm sure, Mike (Munchak) is preaching to his guys. He's an ex-offensive line coach, and they'll be a physical team.  I don't think you are going to see a change in that regard."

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