AFC SOUTH

February 11, 2013

PROBLEM STAT

4.1% Passing plays on which Jaguars pass-rush specialist DT Tyson Alualu got pressure on opposing QBs, 16th lowest in the league. Every one of the tackles above him is regarded as a run defender.

SOLUTION

New defensive coordinator Bob Babich (longtime leader of the Bears' top-notch linebacking corps) must find a way for the 6'3", 295-pound Alualu to become more effective at collapsing the pocket from the inside. Alualu, who often has trouble winning one-on-ones, needs to get stronger. In his three seasons he has 3½, 2½ and 3½ sacks—nowhere near good enough for the 10th selection in the 2010 draft.

AND THEN?

Find a reliable backup running back. After Maurice Jones-Drew was lost for the season in Week 7, the Jaguars started five different backs over the final 10 games. They averaged 44.3 yards.... Move on from Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. Neither he nor Chad Henne is the answer.... Use the No. 2 pick in April on a premier pass rusher to complement Alualu. Jacksonville's 20 sacks last season ranked last in the NFL.

PROBLEM STAT

50 Passes by Andrew Luck that were dropped by the Colts, the most by any NFL team.

SOLUTION

The shorter routes of the West Coast attack that new coordinator Pep Hamilton brings from Stanford should help. They will also lift Andrew Luck's accuracy closer to the 71.3% the pair achieved in 2011 with the Cardinal and reduce the stress on an O-line that conceded a league-high 245 sacks, hits and hurries.

AND THEN?

Sign Ravens unrestricted free-agent ILB Dannell Ellerbe to complement edge rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.... Add a nickel CB to help Vontae Davis and Darius Butler.... Sign UFA Rashard Mendenhall to push Vick Ballard at RB.

PROBLEM STAT

3 Texans 3--4 outside linebackers who ranked among the bottom 10 in pressures per snap: Whitney Mercilus (7.29, fifth lowest), Connor Barwin (7.5, seventh) and Brooks Reed (8.22, 10th).

SOLUTION

Let someone else overpay for free agent Barwin, whose sack total fell from 11½ in 2011 to three; the draft is loaded with 3--4 pass rushers. Houston needs two guys in the middle rounds to rotate in and provide depth. With opponents focusing on end J.J. Watt, this position should be one of the easiest to play in the NFL.

AND THEN?

Build depth behind ILB Brian Cushing. After he went down with a knee injury in Week 5, the defense crumbled.... Re-sign FS Glover Quin and bolster the secondary through free agency.... Find another veteran receiver for QB Matt Schaub.

PROBLEM STAT

35.2% Jake Locker's completion rate under pressure, the lowest of any quarterback.

SOLUTION

In his first season as the Titans' starter, Locker had more INTs (11) than TDs (10). Still, coach Mike Munchak must resist the temptation to bench him for Matt Hasselbeck (52.4% under pressure). Hasselbeck is 37; Locker is the future, growing pains and all.

AND THEN?

Find a bruising back to keep Chris Johnson fresh and give defenses different looks.... Continue to pursue defensive guru Gregg Williams if he's reinstated following his Bountygate suspension. Under Jerry Gray last season, the Titans allowed a league-high 471 points.

PHOTOAL MESSERSCHMIDT/GETTY IMAGES (ALUALU) PHOTOMSA/ICON SMI (BALLARD) PHOTOBRETT DAVIS/US PRESSWIRE (CUSHING) PHOTOANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (LOCKER) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)