The Houston Texans, America's darlings, claimed their first division title and first playoff appearance in franchise history.
Arian Foster emerged as a star running back and rushed for over 1,200 yards in just 13 games. Quarterback Matt Schaub, receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams all missed significant time due to injuries, but the Texans were able to hold on to the lead in the weak division and finished 10-6.
They crushed a completely underwhelming Cincinnati Bengals team in the playoffs before dropping to Baltimore. But remember that it was third-string QB T.J. Yates that led the team into the playoffs.
Many believe that a healthy Texans team could have made much more noise in the postseason, but I suppose we'll never know, will we?
The Tennessee Titans were very quietly a pretty good team. Despite Chris Johnson's best efforts to ruin their season, they notched nine wins and barely missed the playoffs, losing a tiebreaker to Cincinnati.
Thirty-six-year-old Matt Hasselbeck saw the vast majority of snaps, but rookie Jake Locker also got some decent playing time. Kenny Britt was on an early season receiving tear until he experienced one in his MCL, leaving Hasselbeck with nothing more than Nate Washington and Damian Williams to pass to. It is surprising that that lineup was able to stay competitive, but alas, it fell short in the end.
Oh boy, where to start with the Jaguars.
The good news is that Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing and single-handedly earned five wins for his team. He was an average running back, and this team could have been 0-16.
Blaine Gabbert had one of the worst rookie campaigns in recent memory. His passing high for the season was 221 yards, and he failed to break 150 in eight of his 14 starts. It's not all his fault though. His receiving corps was easily the worst in football and created a horrific combination of ineptitude.
If anyone was skeptical of Peyton Manning's worth, we confirmed last year that it is unmeasurable.
A complete and utter mess of a roster without him, the Colts must have been set on Andrew Luck from the moment they knew that Peyton wouldn't be coming back. A carousel of lousy quarterbacks got this team off to an 0-13 start, including a massive 62-7 loss to the Saints. And a mess of underachieving running backs didn't help anything.
The only bright spot on offensive was breakout wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who became a helpful target in the lowly passing game. The Colts did finish 2-14 with late season wins over Tennessee and Houston, and they held off a surging Rams team for the No. 1 draft pick.