NFL2014 Crystal Schnoz Predictions – AFC South

3 notes before we get to the predictions:

1. NFL predictions are so hard to nail because of injuries, parity, and random bounces of the ball. That’s why this is so fun.

2. FO = Football Outsiders. I reference them and their phenomenal stats a lot. Their almanac is fantastic, go buy it.

3. Share your predictions in the comments so we can come back in January and marvel at how much smarter I am than you.


#1 – Indianapolis Colts

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) No QB has been hit more in the last two years than Andrew Luck. And no, the offensive line doesn’t look much better this year.

2) Sticking with Andrew Luck, because what else is there with this team, the dude is 22-10 as an NFL starter. Imagine if he had an average O-line and a legit RB to work with?

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Tight End Dwayne Allen’s #1 Bucket List item is to record a video on his phone funny enough to make it on A.F.V. He doesn’t even care about winning the $10K prize, he just wants Tom Bergeron to narrate something he filmed.

2) The “T.Y.” in T.Y. Hilton’s name stands for “Too Young” because his mother was annoyed that he was born eight days before his due date and the baby room wasn’t painted yet.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a vending machine

Celebrity Fans: David Letterman and Rob Lowe

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Andrew Luck quits football to do voice-overs for ogres in Hollywood. In their first practice without Luck, everyone looks around and realizes how bad they are and Jim Irsay buys them all swords to fall on and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 9-7

Why: Swap Andrew Luck with the starting QB from any other team in the AFC South and Luck still wins the division. He’s that good and the Colts are that mediocre without him. Indianapolis is an injury to Robert Mathis away from having no pass rush, and an Andrew Luck injury away from being 5-11. Let’s hope neither happens, in which case the Colts will earn the #4 seed in the conference and be a one-point underdog to a superior team in the Wild Card round.

#2 – Jacksonville Jaguars

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) This was the worst offense in football in 2013. On the bright side, the defense was only the 5th worse in 2013. How they finished 3rd in their division is one of the mysteries of the universe. (Oh wait: Matt Schaub. Mystery solved.)

2) In a recent NFL poll, the Jaguars ranked #9 in popularity outside of the U.S. Shame on you, England.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) CB Alan Ball thinks the “You Pick Two” deal at Panera Bread is very underpriced. He’s on record as saying he’s be willing to pay upwards of $20 for the combo.

2) Head Coach Gus Bradley demands his players refer to him as ‘Chef Gus’ because of his ability to ‘cook up wins’. It has not caught on as he had hoped.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: an unpaired sock

Celebrity Fans: Gene Hackman, Somebody in London, and Maybe Somebody Else in London

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Their flight to the U.K. in Week 10 splits in half and they end up on a mysterious island where Blake Bortles and Chad Henne battle the elements and each other to help their teammates survive. Unfortunately there is also a smoke monster on this island and it is not amused with the Jaguars uniforms and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 8-8

Why:  This is Gus Bradley’s 2nd year as Head Coach, and the former Seahawks’ D.C. brought in Red Bryant and Chris Clemons from Seattle this off-season in his continued effort to turn the Jaguars into Seattle South. The D will be better, and as soon as they turn the offense over to Blake Bortles it will drastically improve as well. A lot to like for 2015, but a slow start and an inevitable QB change keeps them from achieving a winning record this year.

#3 – Houston Texans

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) What do you get for finishing last in a terrible division? League-wide ridicule and an entirely new coaching staff!

2) What else do you get for finishing last in a terrible division? The top pick AND the league’s easiest schedule in 2014! Congratulations!

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney have given themselves the nickname “Circus Lights”, apparently derived from the words “clown” and watt” in their names. You won’t be able to hear it on television, but after every sack they will scream “circus lights!” at the top of their lungs.

2) Running Back Arian Foster has two kidneys.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: the top button of a dress shirt

Celebrity Fans: George W Bush, George HW Bush, and Hannah Storm

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: M. Night Shayamalan’s movie “The Happening” proves true and people really do start throwing themselves off of cliffs and under lawnmowers and it starts in Houston where the entire team gets infected and drowns themselves in the Gulf of Mexico where they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 6-10

Why:  We believe in Bill O’Brien as a coach and in Romeo Crennel as a defensive coordinator, but it’s going to take a few games to wipe the stink of 2013 off of this franchise. Having the league’s easiest schedule will help a lot – propelling this team close to 8-8 – but unless Ryan Fitzpatrick takes a leap we don’t think he has in him, finishing in third in the division will have to do for now.

#4 – Tennessee Titans

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) Though they finished 7-9 last year, don’t let those seven wins fool you. Three of them were over Houston, Jacksonville, and Oakland by a combined 14 points.

2) The defense switched to a 3-4 scheme this offseason under new coordinator Ray Horton. With a lack of big playmakers, specifically at cornerback, there will be some major growing pains.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) The three red stars in the Titans logo represent the three Jonas brothers: Kevin, Nick, and Joe.

2) Running back Shonn Greene really likes the word ‘rhubarb’.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a mealy apple

Celebrity Fans: Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Nicole Kidman

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: The players all agree to make cameo appearances in the ABC show Nashville, get the acting bug, and quit football to wait tables in Hollywood looking for their big break. On the way to L.A. their pilot decides to fly the plane to the moon and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 5-11

Why:  We tried to find reasons for excitement with this team but oh look a squirrel. Ken Whisenhunt is an upgrade at head coach, Justin Hunter could have a breakout year at WR, and the new defensive scheme might eventually lead to improvements. Or it might not. We’re not really sure we care. Is Jake Locker an NFL starter or not? Finding an answer to that question should be the goal for this franchise in 2014, because outside of that it’s hey another squirrel.

Alright everyone, chime in with your thoughts on the AFC South.

What do you agree with and where am I dead wrong?


AFC: East | North | South | West

NFC: East | North | South | West | The Playoffs