First—Tennessee Titans. First and foremost, I'm not picking Tennessee to win the division as a biased opinion.
The Titans are coming off a season in which the Titans finished with an NFL best 13-3 record, and had a heart breaking loss to the Ravens in the playoffs. With all due respect to the Ravens, that game hinged on a play in which the referees forgot how to blow a whistle. Chris Johnson almost got folded in half, and was forced to leave the game. Even most Ravens fans have said if that didn't happen, Titans win.
Albert Haynsworth is the only real big name the Titans lost in the off-season. Acquiring Nate Washington and drafting Kenny Britt to give some power to the receiver spot, which looks much stronger than last season's. With a defense still in the top five, adding weapons to the offense, I think first place is Tennessee's spot to lose, especially with one of the best coaches in the league.
Second—Houston Texans ???... Yes, I know I will get crap for this one, but I'm stickin' with it!
The Houston Texans are a team that has sort of been on the uprise for three years now. Matt Schaub is a pretty good QB and he has a chance for a breakout season...WHICH means Andre Johnson will have HUGE numbers, possibly tops in the league, and that offense will be fierce. BUT... if Schaub gets injured and Rex Grossman is in charge... put em third.
This may be a crazy pick, but seeing Houston twice a year, they're better everytime, if not second this year, next year for sure... Can you imagine Houston & Tennessee (old Houston) battling it out for division championships? Awesome.
Third—Indianapolis Colts. I'm not yet crazy enough to put Indy last place behind J'Ville.
Peyton Manning is hands down one of the greatest ever. This year though, the Colts are going to miss Tony Dungy... real fast. Peyton has already expressed frustration at one point, but hey, Peyton can run the team himself from the huddle! (not joking) With Marvin Harrison's departure, Reggie Wayne has to pick up the load, especially if Anthony Gonzalez can't bring his A game every week. Dallas Clark is always good to go and ready for game time though to help the receivers.
The offense is still there... not as great as the SB year, but there. The difference now is Houston and Tennessee have excelled in the past three years, catching up with the Colts. Not to mention I see the defense on the decline. Now don't get me wrong, I could even see Indy getting up to first, but that's IF Tennessee ruins their own season.
Fourth—Jacksonville Jaguars. Year after year they are contenders, but nobody knows which Jaguars team will show up.
Jacksonville is recovering from a huge let down of a season. A season in which I predicted them to get to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Acquiring Torry Holt was a decent pickup, but too bad he isn't still in his prime. Four or five years ago, this acquisition would have made J'Ville automatic contenders. I think the QB spot is in pretty bad shape. Maurice Jones-Drew is definitely their best all around player, but not even Pocket Hercules can fight his way to a division title without a consistent QB.
Mind you I did mention how unpredictable this squad is. Maybe their offense will be better than I think, but that Defense needs work. If this year is a failure, I think they reform the team around Mo Jo.
TOP POSITION PLAYERS PREDICTIONS 2009
Quarterback- Peyton Manning
Running Back- Chris Johnson
Wide Receiver- Andre Johnson
Tight End- Dallas Clark