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>Houston Texans

Last playoff appearance: 2011 (lost in divisional round)

Longest playoff drought: 9 seasons (2002-10)

Other notable droughts: The Texans are 0-5 against the Baltimore Ravens, the team they lost to in last year's postseason.

The good: They'll repeat as division champions if: Newcomers Whitney Mercilus and Bradie James make up for the departures of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans on the defense.

The bad: They'll make an early playoff exit if: The right side of the offensive line, which has two new starters in Antoine Caldwell and Derek Newton, breaks down.

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>Tennessee Titans

Last playoff appearance: 2008 (lost in divisional round)

Longest playoff drought: 8 seasons (1970-77)

Other notable droughts: The Titans had two shutouts in the 2000 season, but none since then.

The good: They'll challenge the Texans if: Second-year quarterback Jake Locker is ready for the starting job and Chris Johnson returns to the form that made him a fantasy monster.

The bad: What they should be concerned about: The defense is young, with seven projected starters having three years of experience or less.

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>Indianapolis Colts

Last playoff appearance: 2010 (lost in wild card round)

Longest playoff drought: 9 seasons (1978-86)

Other notable droughts: Even during the Peyton Manning years, the Colts never led the NFL in net offense. They haven't done that since 1976.

The good: They'll double or triple their win total (two) of 2011 if: New coach Chuck Pagano and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck instill a sense of belief for a brand new team.

The bad: They'll stay in the basement if: The defense, which gave up 430 points and allowed 144 yards rushing per game, can't get any stops.

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>Jacksonville Jaguars

Last playoff appearance: 2007 (lost in divisional round)

Longest playoff drought: 5 seasons (2000-04)

Other notable droughts: The Jaguars have never had a Pro Bowl quarterback.

The good: Why they can get to .500: The defense, which finished sixth in the league last season, returns 10 of 11 starters.

The bad: Why they'll bottom out: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert looked shaky as a rookie last season and a fan base that's seen its team miss the playoffs in 10 of the past 12 seasons will be quick to turn on him and the team.