The AFC South May Get Good Again — But Not This Year

1996-97.2442011.125 8Rodney Peete1989DET7.58 Tennessee TitansThe Tennessee Titans had a big offseason, bolstering their offensive line by drafting tackle Jack Conklin (No. 8 overall) and signing center Ben Jones. They also added weapons in running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Rishard Matthews. They appear to be sort of going for it.All these moves hinge on Marcus Mariota. The rookie QB had one hell of a first game in 2015 and a solid season overall. His 7.6 yards per attempt is the seventh-best mark for a rookie QB since 1970. It wasn’t always so dire. Back in the late 2000s, Peyton Manning was still a Colt, the Tennessee Titans had a 13-win season, and even the Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty good. The AFC South was one of the best divisions in the NFL: 3Matt Ryan2008ATL7.93 How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » 9Jameis Winston2015TB7.56 SEASONSWIN %SEASONSWIN % At least those strength of schedule ranks look good — these bad teams get to play each other twice. RANKPLAYERSEASONTEAMYARDS PER ATTEMPT Best rookie QB seasons by yards per attempt, 1970-2015 1989-96 (D. Robinson era).6671998-2010 (P. Manning era).678 To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division.The AFC South has been the punching bag of our NFL preseason previews. In 2015, we called it “perhaps the most imbalanced division in football,” and in 2014, we wrote that the division “can’t be any worse than it was last year.” (We were correct: The division won 25 games total, up from 24 the year before.)Going into 2016, the AFC South is still awful — awful enough that our Elo-based projections put the division’s best team — the Houston Texans — at just 8.3 wins for the season.1If you haven’t encountered them on our site before, Elo ratings are a measure of overall team strength that update after each game. 7Marcus Mariota2015TEN7.62 Source: Pro-football-reference.com, Basketball-reference.com 1Ben Roethlisberger2004PIT8.88 Since 2010, Manning’s final season playing for Indianapolis, the division has taken a nosedive. But the AFC South can still be saved. The NFC West was the worst division in football for five straight seasons, from 2006 through 2010, but in 2013, it was on top and one of the best of all time. Can the AFC South manage the same kind of revival?Houston TexansHouston’s defense — led by the extremely talented and extremely corny J.J. Watt — allowed just 19.6 points per game last season, tied for 7th in the NFL (and just a hair behind the Carolina Panthers at 19.3). Unfortunately, four quarterbacks made starts for Houston’s offense. That’s never a good sign, but it’s especially bad when those four quarterbacks are as dispensable as these guys:Brian Hoyer: Has played for New England, Arizona, Cleveland and Houston.Ryan Mallett: New England, Houston, Baltimore.T.J. Yates: Houston, Atlanta, Houston again.Brandon Weeden: Cleveland, Dallas, Houston.As a unit, these mediocre journeymen averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt, good for 29th in the NFL,2They did throw 28 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Good work! while somehow still feeding DeAndre Hopkins enough (192 targets!) to have him finish third in NFL receiving yards. They were good enough for Houston to make the playoffs at 9-7, before being humiliated by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans will now put their offense in the hands of Brock Osweiler, a very tall man with seven career starts. He can’t be expected to dominate out of the gate, but some consistency would be nice. If he starts at least 13 games, he’ll be the first Houston QB to do so since 2012.Indianapolis ColtsThe mid-1990s San Antonio Spurs were masters of timing. After a solid stretch under David Robinson, San Antonio had a single terrible season at the perfect moment, capturing the consensus No. 1 draft pick. The Spurs then rode that pick — Tim Duncan — to a new era of even greater success.Through 2014, the Colts looked (to the untrained eye) like they’d pulled off the same trick. Peyton Manning’s absence in 2011 meant the Colts were terrible enough to draft his replacement, Andrew Luck: 10Jim Kelly1986BUF7.49 4Russell Wilson2012SEA7.93 2Robert Griffin2012WAS8.14 Minimum eight startsSource: pro-football-reference.com 1997-2016 (T. Duncan era).7102012-14 (A. Luck era).688 SPURSCOLTS 5Cam Newton2011CAR7.84 And then they hit a wall in 2015. The Colts went 8-8, but were lucky to have done so well. Over the course of the season, their -75 point differential was worse than that of the Baltimore Ravens and Jaguars, who both went 5-11. The Colts have been propped up by their division, going 20-4 against the AFC South over the last four seasons and 21-19 against everyone else. The Colts’ roster is weak once you look past the QB, and it’s suddenly not so clear that Luck is the next big thing.This offseason, the Colts added very little. It could still be enough to win the AFC South — we give them a 36 percent chance of doing that — but don’t expect much past that.Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jaguars have not had a lot of success recently. The last time they finished above .500 was in 2007, and the 2013 squad had a real shot at being the worst team in NFL history. At the Jaguars’ low point that season, Vegas set them as 28-point underdogs against the Denver Broncos.But in the past couple of years, the Jaguars, while still definitely bad, have become kind of exciting. In 2013, they listed draftee Denard Robinson’s position as “offensive weapon,” which was stupid, but in a fun way! In 2014, they had their biggest comeback ever, and in 2015, two Jaguars reached 1,000 yards receiving (after none did in the previous nine seasons). Jacksonville’s defense is still a disaster (31st in points allowed in 2015), but this has become a non-depressing team that lost close, watchable games.Add to all that one of the best draft classes in both 2015 and 2016, and the confidence of Jaguars fans may soon be rewarded: It once looked like the Colts were pulling a Spurs 6Dennis Shaw1970BUF7.81 There are a lot of great quarterbacks on that list, but a few flameouts as well. RGIII and Dennis Shaw never matched their rookie seasons, and Rodney Peete became a successful but unexceptional journeyman. The Titans are making a big bet that Mariota is the real deal. If he is, Tennessee could start contending sooner rather than later.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team read more

No place like home Ohio State volleyball continuing to spike visiting competition

The mantra of “Home Sweet Home” has been the theme for several Ohio State athletic teams that have enjoyed the most success playing on university grounds.The Ohio State men’s volleyball team has been no different. It has made its home at St. John Arena a nightmare for opposing teams.Coach Pete Hanson said that the comfort level at home has really helped elevate his team’s play.“I think some teams have a harder time adjusting to the bigger arena and that helps our guys a lot,” Hanson said.The Buckeyes have been the definition of “perfect” at home, not only winning all five matches this season, but also sweeping all three sets in each of those respective matches. They have won each home set by an average margin of seven points.Hanson said that playing in St. John Arena every day for practice has been important for the players.“It is a great facility that, when set up for volleyball, has a very good feel to it for our guys. Being able to practice every day there makes a huge difference also,” Hanson said. “The great lighting and very good visual surroundings are what help to make St. John a great place to play.”Hanson said that while he is pleased with his team’s home success, he knows that tougher tasks still lie ahead.“We have some very good teams still scheduled to come to St. John Arena and I think our early schedule at home has been a bit easier than what we will finish with,” Hanson said.After facing Carthage this Friday, the Buckeyes don’t return home until early March when they face No. 7 Penn State in a rematch from an early-season meeting. They then go on the road again for a couple of weeks before finishing the regular season with three consecutive matches at home against Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference opponents.Being able to replicate their early home domination during that final, three-match stretch will be essential for the Buckeyes to win the MIVA conference.“Home-court advantage for the MIVA playoffs is huge,” Hanson said. “We always want to win the conference and be the home team for all the rounds of the tournament.”Earning home court advantage in the playoffs would be instrumental for the Buckeyes considering how they have played at home already this season. The winner of the MIVA playoffs gains berth into the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Final Four.Hanson did not understate what that meant to his team. “That is truly one of our top priorities each and every year,” Hanson said. read more

Messi is fine but frustrated Mascherano says

first_imgArgentina’s participation in the World Cup so far has been a shock for everyone in the football world, and especially how is Messi going to handle it.There have been rumours of Jorge Sampaoli’s future being questionable, arguments between the players after the defeat to Croatia and even that the players could be choosing the team for the game against Nigeria.However, Javier Mascherano stepped up to clear the air.Raheem Sterling, EnglandTop 5 best players from the international break weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 After a fresh international break just came to an end, we need to talk about the Top 5 best players during this whole weekend.We…“Leo is fine, we all have our frustration. Like everyone else, he is frustrated because things aren’t working out. He’s human, and like all of us, he is eager to change our situation,” Mascherano said, according to BarcaBlaugranes.“We had a meeting with the aim of working out this situation, to improve and achieve the objective to qualify for the round of 16. Unfortunately, all the noise does not help us. We lived in the past with that and now we try to do it in the present.””We are trying to focus on what we can control and what we can control is the game on Tuesday, the situation is complex and we are responsible for that, we try to find solutions while we still have the chance,” Mascherano went on to add.last_img read more

Griezmann I dont care how France win

first_imgAntoine Griezmann is unconcerned with how France play in Sunday’s World Cup final against Croatia – as long as they winDidier Deschamps’s side have been widely criticised for their unattractive football in the knockout stages of the tournament.Following Tuesday’s semi-final defeat to Les Bleus, Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois branded France’s tactics as “anti-football” and captain Eden Hazard also admitted his disappointment with how they played against them.But for Griezmann, all that matters is the victory as France look to win a second world title this weekend at Moscow.“Thibaut Courtois, he played at Atletico, he was a Spanish champion. With Chelsea, does he believe he is playing the football of Barcelona?” said the 27-year-old, according to ITV.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“I don’t care how. I want a second star to be on this shirt, and if I have the star, I do not care about the game we have done.”The Atletico Madrid forward is convinced that France’s progress to the final is down to teamwork.“We thought we needed to be a solid block, hard to beat. It is improved over time,” said Griezmann.“We know that we can be offensive at any moment, but the defence remains our base.”Griezmann has scored three goals and provided two assists for France at the World Cup.last_img read more

Wasike Sets New School Record at BU Season Opener

first_imgStory Links Wasike ran a time of 15:25.35 to shatter the previous school record.  She broke Holly Knight’s record of 16:24.70  set at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3, 2012.   The redshirt sophomore fell at the 4K mark and then ran her fastest split to finish sixth in a very competitive field.  New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat won the race with a time of 15:14.78.  LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In her first meet of the indoor season, Dorcas Wasike set a new school record in the 5,000 meters at the BU Season Opener on Saturday afternoon. “Truly an amazing performance by Dorcas, responding to one of the worst things that can happen to you with flat out perseverance and refusal to give in,” said assistant coach Joe Walker III.   “There was a moment when I thought the effort was lost but Dorcas refused to believe that.  She ran her fastest split of the race on the next lap to put herself back on the pack and still closed like the fighter she is, It was impressive. She will be ready for them at nationals.”center_img After the holiday break, the Cardinals will begin the 2019 season at the Gene Edmunds Cup on Jan. 12.       Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Body of middleaged man found on railway track near Jadavpur stn

first_imgKolkata: A middle-aged man was found dead on the railway track near Jadavpur railway station on early Wednesday morning.Police are yet to ascertain if the victim had committed suicide or he was run over while crossing the railway track. The incident took place a little after 4 am on Wednesday. Some of the locals spotted the body lying on the railway track. They reported the matter to the railway police. After being informed, police rushed to the spot, recovered the body and sent it for the post-mortem examination. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt triggered tension among the local vendors and flower sellers who first spotted the body.Police have started a detailed probe in this regard. On seeing the circumstantial evidence, police suspect that the victim might have been knocked down by a running train in the wee hours of Wednesday. According to the preliminary investigation, police found out that he was going to his work place when the incident occurred. Police said the nature of injuries on his body suggested that he was run over by a train. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice has ruled out the possibility of the victim being murdered somewhere and later dumped on the railway track.The investigators suspect that the victim might have been walking along the railway track when the accident took place. Cops are investigating as to why the victim was walking along the railway track. They are also investigating if there was any foul play behind the incident. They are waiting for the post-mortem report which could throw light on the cause of his death.last_img read more