ADVERTISEMENT

Indianapolis Colts

New faces: LB D’Qwell Jackson, LB Jonathan Newsome, DT Arthur Jones, WR Hakeem Nicks, OL Lance Louis.

Say goodbye: LB Pat Angerer, S Antoine Bethea, C Samson Satele, RB Donald Brown, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Projected starting quarterback: Andrew Luck. Second-year stats: 16 starts, 343 of 570, 60.2%, 3,822 yards, 6.7 ypa, 23 TDs, 9 INTs, 87.0 passer rating.

Need to learn: Trent Richardson can’t provide some sort of run game balance to Luck and the passing game.

Did you know?: Last year, the Colts were the only team to beat the Broncos, 49ers and Seahawks.

They’ll challenge for the Lombardi Trophy if: Luck stays healthy and the interior of his offensive line, which is shaky at the moment, solidifies.

They’ll make an early playoff exit if: Father Time dogs key veterans like receiver Reggie Wayne, pass rusher Robert Mathis and kicker Adam Vinatieri.

Tennessee Titans

New faces: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt, RB Dexter McCluster, LB Shaun Phillips, OT Michael Oher, RB Bishop Sankey.

Saying goodbye: RB Chris Johnson, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, CB Alterraun Verner, RT David Stewart, WR Kenny Britt.

Projected starting quarterback: Jake Locker. Second-year stats: 11 starts, 177 of 314, 56.4%, 2,176 yards, 6.9 ypa, 10 TDs, 11 INTs, 74.0 passer rating

Need to learn: Is Locker going to be their guy at quarterback long term? He’s entering his make-it-or-break-it season. He was better in the first quarter of 2013, but once again his season was cut short by injury.

Did you know?: The Titans haven’t won a playoff game since 2003.

They’ll avoid a third straight losing season if: New defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s aggressive, hybrid 3-4 scheme keeps the team in games and promising rookie running back Bishop Sankey helps to take some of the pressure off Locker.

They’ll be drafting in the top 10 if: Locker can’t stay on the field, putting the Titans in a position to be looking for his replacement in the 2015 draft.

Houston Texans

New faces: Head coach Bill O’Brien, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, OLB Jadeveon Clowney, S Chris Clemons, RB Ronnie Brown

Saying goodbye: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, QB Matt Schaub, TE Owen Daniels, DE Antonio Smith, RB Ben Tate, S Danieal Manning.

Projected starting quarterback: Fitzpatrick.Second-year stats: One game played, no passes attempted.

Need to learn: As any Bills fan knows, Fitzpatrick is not the answer as a franchise quarterback. Can Tom Savage, drafted in the fourth round out of Pitt, be that guy?

Did you know?: The Texans closed the 2013 season by losing their last 14 games.

A .500 record is possible if: Arian Foster returns to the 2012 form that saw him score an NFL-leading 17 touchdowns, and the pass-rushing tandem of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is as dominant as it looks on paper.

They’ll pick first again if: Fitzpatrick can’t pull out close games – something he has failed to do in his career. The Texans lost nine games by a touchdown or less last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

New faces: G Zane Beadles, DE Red Bryant, DT Ziggy Hood, RB Toby Gerhart, DE Chris Clemons.

Saying goodbye: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, C Brad Meester, G Uche Nwaneri, DE Jason Babin, RB Justin Forsett.

Projected starting quarterback: Chad Henne. Second-year stats: 13 starts, 274 of 451, 60.8%, 2,878 yards, 6.4 ypa, 12 TDs, 14 INTs, 75.2 passer rating.

What they need to learn: Do they have an adequate offensive line to protect eventual starter Blake Bortles, who was drafted No. 3 overall to be the team’s new franchise quarterback? Up to four positions on the line will have new starters from a year ago.

Did you know?: The Jaguars set a franchise record for fewest rushing yards in 2013, with just 1,260 – 78.8 yards per game – part of the reason they let Jones-Drew walk in free agency.

They’ll double their four wins from 2013 if: Gerhart sparks the running game and second-round draft picks Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson give Henne some viable options at wide receiver.

They’ll pick in the top 5 again if: The rebuilt defensive line doesn’t make huge progress. The Jaguars finished 29th in the NFL against the run last year, and their 31 sacks tied for the league low.