We had Michael Lombardi from NFL Network on with us in the 10am hour today (Listen to the podcast here). I'm at a loss for understanding his analysis on the Texans and Titans. He picked the Titans to win the division. That by itself is fine, but his rationale behind it is puzzling.
He talked about their great running game (finished 10th in ypc, 17th in ypg) last year and explained that he likes their strong running game over the Texans (finished 3rd in ypc, 7th in ypg last year). Huh, what?? I really like Chris Johnson and I like their o-line, but they had the same group with essentially the same coaches last year when they finished 6-10. ( I could also mention that he said running games aren't that important anymore, but he really liked what the Titans can do on the ground).
His analysis on the quarterback was even further off base. Hasselbeck is probably better than Collins. But there's no real reason to be particularly confident about that. Hasselbeck's last healthy season was 2007. That was also the last season he was even remotely good.He has had fewer TDs than INT each season since then also. He'll be 36 this month. I think maybe his 1 playoff performance against the Saints is giving some analysts false hope in Hasselbeck's future.
They also have a first year head coach. But he cited that as a positive due to continuity. Not sure about that one either, although that one is tougher to debate. Mike Smith and John Harbaugh, Rex Ryan have all had immediate improvement and success with their respective teams.
Picking the Titans to win the AFC South this year is prefectly defensible, like I said on the show, I still think the Titans are a better team than most people do. But the arguments being made on their behalf just don't make much sense.
Especially picking them to be better than the Texans. Nothing about their offense suggests they should outplay the Texans. Nothing. Now defensively the Texans could and maybe should be better, but that too is more speculation than fact.
Lot to chew on here - again, I suggest you check out the interview on the podcast.