Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk recently did his AFC Season preview. In the AFC South, he has the Houston Texans winning the division with the Jacksonville Jaguars finishing.... last? Rosenthal has the Indianapolis Colts finishing third, but I'm not sure if he wrote this up before all the Peyton Manning news this week.
Anyways, click the jump for his preview and my initial thoughts.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Training camp solution: Maurice Jones-Drew's recovery from knee surgery went smoothly. Getting tight end Marcedes Lewis signed long-term is a plus.
Hanging questions: Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert didn't show enough to push starter David Garrard in camp, but the Jaguars dumped Garrard anyway in a stunner. Luke McCown will start at quarterback, with expectations for the team lowered. Jack Del Rio will be the one who gets the blame if McCown and Jacksonville's questionable high-paid defensive pickups (Paul Poslusnzy, Dawan Landry, Clint Session) don't work out.
Surprise: The Jaguars uncovered a sleeper in rookie slot receiver Cecil Shorts. He could be the team's No. 2 wideout.
Outlook: GM Gene Smith's three-year plan was built to this season, but we don't see it going anywhere.
It's hard to argue with some of Rosenthal's points, because frankly we don't know what we're getting with Luke McCown until we see it on the field. As far as finishing last in the AFC South, I can't see it unless Manning is only out a handful of games. If Manning is out significant time (6+ games), the Colts will be an unmitigated disaster. They're quite possibly the worst team in the NFL, by a large margin, if Manning is out.
Rosenthal predicts a 5-11 season for the Jaguars, which would undoubtedly result in Jack Del Rio being fired. In my season preview I had 7-9, and even with the switch to Luke McCown that's still my prediction.