2007 record in parentheses:

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (13-3, 13-4 including postseason)

Strengths: Indianapolis remains one of the NFL's highest-scoring teams and now has a defense, which returns 10 starters, that allowed the league's fewest points in 2007.

Weaknesses: Injuries. The health of QB Peyton Manning (knee), safety Bob Sanders (shoulder), the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, and DE Dwight Freeney (foot) will be key questions. All three opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list after surgery.

Players to watch: Manning, Sanders, Freeney, WR Marvin Harrison, returning from a lost season with a knee injury.

Biggest change: Jim Sorgi, Manning's backup, has been running the offense since July 25.

Schedule key: Four-game November stretch includes dates against three of AFC's top contenders: New England, Pittsburgh and San Diego, all division winners in '07. The round-robin could determine which team gets home-field advantage in playoffs.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (11-5, 12-6 including postseason)

Strengths: Overall defense. Running game led by Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, who combined last season for nearly 2,000 yards rushing and nearly 5 yards per carry. QB David Garrard, running controlled offense, had 18 TD passes and just three interceptions last season.

Weaknesses: Receiving. Ernest Wilford led Jaguars with just 45 catches, lowest for a team leader in NFL.

Players to Watch: Taylor, who is 32 but had injury-free season last year. WR Jerry Porter, who signed $30 million deal after injury and discipline problems in Oakland. He's been plagued by hamstring injury.

Biggest Change: Receivers. In addition to Porter, Jaguars traded for Troy Williamson, a top-10 draft pick in Minnesota who had trouble holding the ball.

Schedule Key: Jags have designs on ending Colts' five-year run of NFC South titles and go to Indianapolis in Week 3, early opportunity to show their strength.

TENNESSEE TITANS (10-6, 10-7 including postseason)

Strengths: Defense that ranked fifth in NFL in 2007 could be even stingier with All-Pro tackle Albert Haynesworth playing for big contract in free agency. Gone are ends Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy, but Jevon Kearse has looked quick enough to replace them opposite Pro Bowl end Kyle Vanden Bosch. Second-round DT Jason Jones could have immediate impact.

Weaknesses: For all the offseason work on Vince Young's footwork and recognition of defenses, Titans need receivers to be consistent for passing game to ease pressure on running game.

Players to watch: Kearse; rookie RB Chris Johnson, who brings speed team hasn't had in years. TE Alge Crumper looks revitalized away from Atlanta, and FS Michael Griffin is primed for big second season.

Biggest change: New offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger has revitalized unit that managed nine touchdowns passing in 2007.

Schedule key: Titans have chance for fast start. Three of first four games are at home, starting with Jacksonville in opener, and they get Indianapolis first in Nashville on Oct. 27.


Strengths: Receivers. Andre Johnson is healthy again after missing seven games last season with knee injury. Texans have playmakers around him in Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones and Andre' Davis.

Weaknesses: Secondary. Texans ranked 25th in pass defense last season and tied for the fewest interceptions (11).

Players to watch: Johnson, LB DeMeco Ryans, DE Mario Williams.

Biggest change: Offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. Former Denver assistant brings his zone-blocking scheme that helped Broncos lead NFL in rushing between 1995-2003.

Schedule key: Texans play three of first four games on road, including trips to Pittsburgh (Sept. 7), Tennessee (Sept. 21) and Jacksonville (Sept. 28), and then face Indianapolis at home.