2018 Predictions For The AFC South

2018 Predictions For The AFC South

Will Derrick Henry lead the way to a division crown?


Last season the Jacksonville Jaguars won the AFC South for the first time in franchise history. They also were able to come within a couple minutes of playing in the Super Bowl, but they ran into some dude called Tom Brady. With the emergence of their young defensive core, the other three teams in their division have all made upgrades to their rosters. But is it enough to tame the jags?

1. The Jacksonville Jaguars

So in case, you couldn't tell, or if you just decided to skip the first couple sentences (its ok I get it) the Jags will win the south for the second consecutive season. To me the proof is in the pudding on this one, I think that they easily have the best defense in the league. I haven't seen a defense this deep with talent probably since the 2013-14 Seattle Seahawks and look where that got them. The Jags also have one of the best young running backs in the league (as long as he's not playing Alabama) in Leonard Fournette. For all the non-football experts, if you can play really good defense and effectively move the ball on the ground you will be a good team.

I also really like the other additions they made on the offensive side of the ball. They improve the o-line by signing pro-bowler Andrew Norwell away from the Panthers. I also don't mind them letting go guys like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Robinson is coming off a major injury and Hurns never truly developed into a number 1 guy. Now they can focus on developing their young receivers like Marquis Lee, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole. As long as Blake Bortles doesn't get worse they should have a great balance of offense and defense. What the Jags also have is a very kind schedule. Their three hardest games which are the Patriots, Steelers, and Eagles are all home games. And with that Jacksonville crowd rocking in TIAA Bank Field they should be able to get it done and come out on top again.

The Houston Texans

JJ Watt

Playoffs: Yes


Last season the Texans seemed as if they were finally on their way to becoming a truly respectable team until Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt went down. Now both are ready to throw the pads back on but both have had their share of skepticism. Will they be the same players? Let's start with Watson. I'm going to be real honest right now, I love Deshaun Watson. I know that might be frowned upon because of my allegiance to Alabama but my goodness can that guy play football. He gutted us TWICE he almost beat us TWICE not even guys like Johnny Manziel or Tim Tebow could really come close to beating Saban's defense twice (other than Ole Miss but nobody likes cheaters). He absolutely has the talent when healthy and I believe that he will return to full strength. People like to forget that in college Watson had torn his ACL and one year later lead Clemson to the national championship.

Now onto Watt. This one is a bit different because he plays a much more physically demanding position and he has had injuries all over his body. But if he comes back and he is only 75 or 80% of the player he used to be, then that's still a damn good player. He doesn't have to be the superstar he once was. The rest of the front seven will be solid enough to pick up the slack. What's more concerning to me is the secondary. Their situation with the cornerbacks will be something to look out for because they can't keep relying on Jonathan Joseph who's about to play his 14th season, to be able to shut down every team's number one receivers.

But the defining aspect of the team that drops them down to second place is the offensive line. To put it kindly they stink. I don't trust any of their tackles to protect Watson and I am shocked they didn't address it in the draft or in free agency. It isn't like there weren't guys out there. Nonetheless, they have elite talent in Deandre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney, JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson. That should be enough to make the playoffs in the AFC.

The Tennessee Titans 

Derrick Henry

Playoffs: No


Hot take alert: I think Marcus Mariota is the worst quarterback in the division. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely worse options out there but when compared to the other three guys I don't like him as much. Mariota did put together two strong years but last year was when I think his true colors showed. Defenses figured out that this dude doesn't throw with a ton of accuracy. Now the gap between him and a guy like Blake Bortles is pretty slim. But I liked what I saw in the postseason last year from Bortles way more than I like Mariota. And Bortles does a way better job of taking care of the football.

But Mariota's play isn't the only factor that went into my decision of placing the Titans third. Even though I think that they will have a dynamic running game with Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, along with a very good offensive line, I really don't like their depth at receiver. Corey Davis is promising but is a young player who is coming off an injury-riddled season. Unlike Watson, he doesn't have a history of recovering from the same injury. The rest of them really don't impress me very much, so be prepared for another huge year from Delanie Walker.

I think that their defense has a ton of talent, but I do have a couple questions about their speed at linebacker. Nonetheless, I think new head coach Mike Vrabel will do a really nice job with that side of the ball, but I can't attest to the other. They have a youthful offensive coordinator in Matt LaFleur who held the same position last season with the Rams. Only time will tell though if he is truly a good play caller or not because that job was left up to HC Sean McVay. Personally, I would have liked to see an offensive minded coach hired to try and help fix Mariota before it's too late. But now all they can do is bank on a couple first timers and defense.

The Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck

Playoffs: NOOOO


Poor Andrew Luck. He takes a year off due to injury and a poor roster, and what does he come back to? That's a rhetorical question. The offensive line has definitely improved though. Guys like Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Anthony Castonzo can hopefully help Luck only get hit half a million times. That'd probably be an improvement, to be honest. Hey but the Colts still have TY Hilton... but who else? The other two "starters" at receiver were 4th and 5th guys on other teams depth charts. Pairing Eric Ebron with Jack Doyle should actually be a decent combination at tight end. Their schedule is also filled with tons of toss-up games and tough road games against the likes of the Patriots, Eagles, and Raiders.

But what truly secures their ranking of the last place is the defense. My goodness. I was actually shocked that some of the guys on the defense were still in the league. It's riddled with no names, players out of their prime, and second-year players who need to prove they're worth high pick. I love Andrew Luck, but I simply can not see him succeeding with this supporting cast. If they are able to scratch out 8 wins this year Luck should win MVP.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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