Sports

AFC South New Year’s Resolutions: Jaguars, Titans, Colts, Texans

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Jacksonville Jaguars:

“I will not talk religion on or off the football field as a Jacksonville Jaguar”

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Miranda Lambert saw the sign a veteran was holding up at her concert, she immediately broke down in tears:

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Miranda Lambert saw the sign a veteran was holding up at her concert, she immediately broke down in tears:

The news that Tim Tebow has his eyes on his hometown of Jacksonville Florida, has started a conversation amongst Jaguar fans about religious differences. The current owner of the Jaguars is Shahid Khan, an auto parts mogul and a Pakistani Muslim, a religious following that is not only foreign to Jacksonville residents but one met with hostility because it is often misconstrued. Tebow is not shy about his religious beliefs -- a trait that has earned him praise in a heavily Christian Florida sports following -- and the topic of religion in sports and sports ownership will indubitably be brought more than it already has.

“I will hit the gym, and be motivated next year”

Tebow or no Tebow, the rest of the Jaguars need a fire lit beneath them. They are a reasonably talented squad (though a little light in the important positions) and came out less than flat to start the season and are looking the same to end it. They may not even be playing for a Jacksonville crowd next year, Tebow may hunt down a spot a Floridian roster only to find himself playing in the Governator’s stadium in Los Angeles, or even Wembley.

Tennessee Titans:

“I will draft and trade for a secondary, and help on the offensive and defensive lines”

The Titans have complicated answers for simple questions. The team has a great fan base and stadium to play in, but under-delivers year after year as their obvious flaws are exploited. They need an offensive line, and they need to not be shy about paying for it. They need a pass rush to help their defense off the field. They need a secondary that offenses have some semblance of fear of. Above all, they need to stop teasing their fans with these makeshift football teams.

“I will hire a coach that is qualified, and isn’t afraid to take the risks that the modern style of NFL football requires”

Munchak. Just why? Why Mike Munchak? How about Arians? Reid, Cowher, Gruden, Marinelli how about Tom Clements? Or move some college coaches forward, like Chip Kelly, or Brian Kelly? I just don’t see how Tennessee arrived at Munchak in the first place, and decided to draft the way that they did. In 2010 they were headed in the right direction and building on something, they then slightly came to fruition in 2011 only to be ruined by bad coaching in 2012. That sets the Titans back another 2-3 years already. Throw a Titans fan a bone.

Indianapolis Colts:

“I will not worship Andrew Luck as a God before he’s old enough to rent a car”

Luck is good, if not a great quarterback, much less an incredible rookie quarterback. However, people are already throwing out their Manning memorabilia and hanging a picture of Andrew Luck next to Jesus. People need to take it slow with this phenom, give him some room to grow, some leeway. If he can’t win a playoff game, then don’t be so surprised. If he manages a playoff win or two or even 3 then don’t put a golden jacket on him already. People get so wrapped up in hype surrounding a game that defines careers by bodies of work, by legendary performances, and sheer will and determination. Just take it easy will ya?

“I will make moves in the offseason”

Teams that have success with high draft picks often stay pretty dormant in the following season. It’s almost like they are satisfied with themselves. Often they trade the next years picks, but in the Colts’ case, I think being passive will be a major mistake. Make moves to get a linebacker or two, maybe a tight end. Cut your salary fat, and contend.

Houston Texans:

“I will not quit”

After a fireball start, the Texans have fallen to Earth…hard. Their timing is terrible. Last year they squeaked out two playoff games with a backup quarterback after losing their last 3 games of the season. This year they will hope to get the same kind of turnaround in the postseason as they have come out at 70% for the last 6 games of the season. If they get bounced early in the playoffs, the city and team has to maintain the buzz that has been the catalyst to the Texans success.

“I will be myself”

The Texans are a strong, solid, fundamentally sound team. Too often this year they have taken the field as a team that is beside itself. They have been making mistakes that they haven’t made all year, and getting away from tried and true strategies that have worked for them all year. If they could just sustain their identity, they would achieve their goals.

It’s been a roller coaster season. We’ve been surprised and let down, impressed and disappointed. The AFC South has finally made some noise without number 18 and company. In an era where the AFC brings up names like the Steelers, the Patriots, and the Ravens, it’s good to see the new Colts and the Texans finally being mentioned in the same breath. The new year and following seasons point to progress and success for these teams. I’m sure every Colt, Titan, Jaguar, and Texan fan is looking forward to it.