Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the Houston Texans. (Associated Press)
  • By
  • Published

Indianapolis Colts

New faces: LB D’Qwell Jackson, LB Jonathan Newsome, DT Arthur Jones, WR Hakeem Nicks, OL Lance Louis.

Say goodbye: LB Pat Angerer, S Antoine Bethea, C Samson Satele, RB Donald Brown, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Projected starting quarterback: Andrew Luck. Second-year stats: 16 starts, 343 of 570, 60.2%, 3,822 yards, 6.7 ypa, 23 TDs, 9 INTs, 87.0 passer rating.

Need to learn: Trent Richardson can’t provide some sort of run game balance to Luck and the passing game.

Did you know?: Last year, the Colts were the only team to beat the Broncos, 49ers and Seahawks.

They’ll challenge for the Lombardi Trophy if: Luck stays healthy and the interior of his offensive line, which is shaky at the moment, solidifies.

They’ll make an early playoff exit if: Father Time dogs key veterans like receiver Reggie Wayne, pass rusher Robert Mathis and kicker Adam Vinatieri.

Tennessee Titans

New faces: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt, RB Dexter McCluster, LB Shaun Phillips, OT Michael Oher, RB Bishop Sankey.

Saying goodbye: RB Chris Johnson, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, CB Alterraun Verner, RT David Stewart, WR Kenny Britt.

Projected starting quarterback: Jake Locker. Second-year stats: 11 starts, 177 of 314, 56.4%, 2,176 yards, 6.9 ypa, 10 TDs, 11 INTs, 74.0 passer rating

Need to learn: Is Locker going to be their guy at quarterback long term? He’s entering his make-it-or-break-it season. He was better in the first quarter of 2013, but once again his season was cut short by injury.

Did you know?: The Titans haven’t won a playoff game since 2003.

They’ll avoid a third straight losing season if: New defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s aggressive, hybrid 3-4 scheme keeps the team in games and promising rookie running back Bishop Sankey helps to take some of the pressure off Locker.

They’ll be drafting in the top 10 if: Locker can’t stay on the field, putting the Titans in a position to be looking for his replacement in the 2015 draft.

Houston Texans

New faces: Head coach Bill O’Brien, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, OLB Jadeveon Clowney, S Chris Clemons, RB Ronnie Brown

Saying goodbye: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, QB Matt Schaub, TE Owen Daniels, DE Antonio Smith, RB Ben Tate, S Danieal Manning.

Projected starting quarterback: Fitzpatrick.Second-year stats: One game played, no passes attempted.

Need to learn: As any Bills fan knows, Fitzpatrick is not the answer as a franchise quarterback. Can Tom Savage, drafted in the fourth round out of Pitt, be that guy?

Did you know?: The Texans closed the 2013 season by losing their last 14 games.

A .500 record is possible if: Arian Foster returns to the 2012 form that saw him score an NFL-leading 17 touchdowns, and the pass-rushing tandem of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is as dominant as it looks on paper.

They’ll pick first again if: Fitzpatrick can’t pull out close games – something he has failed to do in his career. The Texans lost nine games by a touchdown or less last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

New faces: G Zane Beadles, DE Red Bryant, DT Ziggy Hood, RB Toby Gerhart, DE Chris Clemons.

Saying goodbye: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, C Brad Meester, G Uche Nwaneri, DE Jason Babin, RB Justin Forsett.

Projected starting quarterback: Chad Henne. Second-year stats: 13 starts, 274 of 451, 60.8%, 2,878 yards, 6.4 ypa, 12 TDs, 14 INTs, 75.2 passer rating.

What they need to learn: Do they have an adequate offensive line to protect eventual starter Blake Bortles, who was drafted No. 3 overall to be the team’s new franchise quarterback? Up to four positions on the line will have new starters from a year ago.

Did you know?: The Jaguars set a franchise record for fewest rushing yards in 2013, with just 1,260 – 78.8 yards per game – part of the reason they let Jones-Drew walk in free agency.

They’ll double their four wins from 2013 if: Gerhart sparks the running game and second-round draft picks Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson give Henne some viable options at wide receiver.

They’ll pick in the top 5 again if: The rebuilt defensive line doesn’t make huge progress. The Jaguars finished 29th in the NFL against the run last year, and their 31 sacks tied for the league low.

Click here to see the comments. Add yours now!