Friday, November 4, 2011

Southern divisions thru week 9

By Keith Antigiovanni

American Football Conferences' Southern division is currently lead by the Houston Texans (5-3). Houston is a half-game up on Houston's fomer team, the Tennessee Titans (4-3). Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) are in third place and the Indianapolis Colts (0-8) are in fourth place.

With the Colts having an off year without Peyton Manning the other clubs in the division have a chance at the playoffs. Houston has yet to win the division in it's 10 years of existence while the Tennessee has not won the division since 2008 and won in 2002/2003 when the Colts began their dominance. Jacksonville has also yet to win the South but had good years in 2005/2007.

Houston will face Cleveland at Reliant Stadium while Tennessee hosts Cincinnati at LP Coliseum. Jacksonville has a bye and Indianapolis will face Atlanta.

Houston's 41-7 victory over Tennessee a couple of weeks ago has to give them a psychological advantage but the teams will play again in Houston.

Meanwhile in the National Football Conferences' Southern division the New Orleans Saints (5-3) lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3) and Atlanta Falcons (4-3). Carolina is 2-6.

New Orleans is in the midst of its best run in playoff history under Coach Sean Peyton. Payton is 54-34 since 2006, has won 2 division titles, 2 NFC title games, 1 NFC title and a Super Bowl title but most of all he and QB Drew Brees have helped establish Saints football as a premier franchise.

Since Peyton's arrival their biggest challenger has been the Falcons who have had 3 straight winning seasons Coach Mike Smith's arrival in 2008. Smith and QB Matt Ryan also came into the franchise at the same time and have done a fine job but yet to match the success of Payton/Brees.

NO will host Tampa Bay at the Superdome in a re-match while Atlanta faces the Indianapolis.

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