Have the Titans caught up in the AFC South?

With all due respect to the NFC East, which also landed three teams in the postseason, including the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the AFC South was debatably the toughest division in the NFL in 2008.
The Titans, Jags, Colts and Texans combined for a cumulative record of 42-22, slightly better than the total of the NFC East’s teams (40-24). Like the NFC East, the AFC South did not have a team with a losing record.
The goal of Titan management this offseason was to bring in talent that would allow them to surpass the likes of the Colts and the Jags in the battle for AFC South supremacy.
Have the Titans done enough to improve upon their third-place finish in the AFC South last year, or will next season be a continuation of Colt-dominance in the league’s toughest division?

Playing in a division that consists of the presence of Peyton Manning, it’s paramount for the Titans and fellow AFC South competitors to have a strong running game that keeps Manning on the sidelines.
Ball control is the name of the game in the AFC South, as evidenced by the powerful running attacks of the Titans and the Jags (sorry Houston, but the combination of a brittle Chris Brown and an aging/injured Ahman Green does not scare anyone).
Adding Chris Johnson to the backfield should be a huge positive for a Titan team that relies heavily on smash mouth football. The combination of White and Johnson should give Tennessee a rushing attack akin to the Jags’ duo of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
On the defensive side of the football, the Titans are hoping that an old face and a few new ones will provide a pass rush that will cause nightmares for Manning, David Garrard and Matt Schaub.
If healthy, Kearse should enjoy chasing Manning around outside of the pocket like he did during his first tenure with the Titans. Jason Jones and William Hayes are untested, but talented rookies who should see some playing time in the Titans’ defensive end rotation.
The Colts are only two years removed from being the world champs and the Jaguars have been anointed by media pundits as this offseason’s flavor of the month. Thus, the Titans are in the familiar underdog role as they attempt to qualify for the playoffs for the second year in a row.
In a division where the margin of error is extremely thin, the Titans should not be counted out in the battle for the AFC South crown.

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