The AFC South is officially cursed. In a matter of five weeks, the Colts, Titans, Jaguars and Texans have lost a multitude of key players.
Peyton Manning’s injury has already terrorized Indianapolis’ season, and the loss of Melvin Bullitt and Gary Brackett have made things impossible for the Colts to recover.
David Garrard was inexplicably cut prior to the season in Jacksonville, and the Jags now have the worst offense in the league.
The Titans lost their most dangerous offensive weapon when Kenny Britt blew out his knee two weeks ago. They won’t be as explosive without him, and Chris Johnson continues to struggle.
The Texans survived the apparent jinx for the first three weeks of the season, but now they’ve been demoralized by two massive injuries in as many weeks. Only days after they learned that top offensive weapon Andre Johnson would miss time with a hamstring injury, the Texans have lost their top defensive weapon, quite possibly for the remainder of the season.
Mario Williams has a torn pectoral muscle and will be sidelined indefinitely, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. He’s reportedly undergoing tests today to determine the severity of the injury, but John McClain of the Houston Chronicle claims that he’s already scheduled for surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
The Texans defense was torched from start to finish last year, but they’ve been exceeding expectations under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Thus far, they rank seventh in the league in terms of both yardage and points allowed. The pass defense in particular has taken a significant step forward. Part of that can be credited to a revamped secondary led by shutdown cornerback Johnathan Joseph, and part of it can be credited to Phillips’ presence in a new 3-4 alignment.
But a lot of it has to do with the pass rush, which ranks fourth in the league with 15 sacks through five games. Williams had five of those sacks. And now he’s gone.
So, who wants the AFC South?