AFC South Week in Review: We Learn What We Already Knew

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistApril 20, 2012

Even Big Ben loves Matt Schaub.
Even Big Ben loves Matt Schaub.Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The last week before the draft is in the books, and what did we learn about the AFC South?

We learned a lot that we already knew.


The schedule was released.

On Tuesday, I pointed out that the we already knew all the teams on each team's schedule, but somehow the schedule release announcement was still big news.

The way games fell was mostly bad news for the AFC South. The Titans have a brutal opening gauntlet. The Jaguars have a tough home slate. The Texans have a murder's row in the middle. Only Indianapolis had their games lay out more or less favorably.

There's not much more to say about this than what I've already said, but I will say that fans do care about schedule day. People miss football, and who can blame them?


Andrew Luck is going to be the No. 1 pick.

Talk about another story we already had nailed weeks ago. With news that Luck has been informed he's the Colts selection, our long national nightmare is finally over. What's really curious is why general manager Ryan Grigson didn't come out and announce it at his press conference.

There has been a lot of speculation that maybe the NFL or ESPN put pressure on the Colts to keep the pick a secret, but that makes no sense. The story broke the next day anyway, and no one has been in suspense about this for months. I don't buy the tinfoil hat theory.

What I do believe is that Jim Irsay loves the spotlight. I think he's trying to keep as much attention as possible on the Colts. Why? See the next point.


The Colts have 4,000 tickets remaining for 2012.

There have been a lot of reasons given for why the Colts suddenly have tickets out there, but the real reason is that the scalpers have bailed. Thousands of Colts tickets are bought by brokers each year, and this season, they aren't going to spend the money.

There is not a lot of enthusiasm for the Colts in Indianapolis right now, because Jim Irsay cut Peyton Manning. Actual Colts fans didn't cancel their season tickets over the move, but the casual fan who buys secondary market tickets won't be as interested in coming out to Lucas Oil Stadium.

The professional brokers know this, so the dumped their share. They can always re-up for 2013 at a later date, and don't have to carry inventory that will go unsold this year. Indianapolis is a scalper's paradise thanks to relaxed laws, and you can't underestimate their impact.


Matt Schaub promises to be back by training camp.

The single most important issue in the AFC South is the health of Schaub. His comments this week had to give comfort to Texans fans who feel their Super Bowl hopes were dashed when he went down last season. While he still won't be ready for mini-camp, it was encouraging to hear that he fully expected to be ready come August. With Schaub the Texans are an AFC South contender. Without him, they are a team that lost to Dan Orlovsky.


The Jaguars sign Lee Evans.

You have to love the way the details of this deal work out for Jacksonville. Evans was terrible last year, but he used to be a very good target. I don't know that he will even make the final roster, but if he does bounce back, it will only help Jacksonville.