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Andrew Luck

An uprising in the AFC South

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The Texans and Titans tied for the division lead with 9-7 records a year ago but Houston was crowned champion based on the second tie-breaker, division record. The Texans went 5-1 against the South and the Titans 2-4.

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Coach Bill O’Brien has done the impossible in Houston, winning the AFC South the last two seasons without a quarterback. He has started six different quarterbacks in those 32 games and won games with all of them.

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If Brock Osweiler, a veteran of only seven NFL starts, proves worthy of his contract, the Texans could become Super Bowl contenders for years to come. The defense is already at that level with J.J. Watt chasing down quarterbacks.

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When your offense ranks 32nd in the NFL in passing with only 11 TD passes – as the Rams finished last season — you’re willing to part with two first-round picks, two seconds and two thirds for the right to land a potential franchise quarterback like Jared Goff.

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Even with marquee passers Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo and Andrew Luck missing chunks of the 2015 season and 14 franchises having to play backups, quarterbacks in the NFL have never been more efficient than they have been this fall.

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Marques Colston this week called Drew Brees “a Hall-of-Fame quarterback,” and while the Saints’ wide receiver doesn’t have a Hall-of-Fame vote he’s probably right. But Brees isn’t alone among today’s quarterbacks destined for Canton. We figure there are at least five who wind up there, including Brees and the two slam dunks — Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

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Cam Newton has done it again, this time announcing that “so much of my talents have not been seen in one person.” We suspect he was talking about quarterbacks, and while Newton is right that he has talent … he is wrong when he says so much of his talents haven’t been seen in one person. We have no trouble thinking of several before and one after him … and the envelope, please.

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(Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Rams) By Clark Judge Talk of Fame Network Norm Van Brocklin’s single-game passing record of 554 yards has lasted 63 years, but at the rate quarterbacks are going … and at the rate records are falling … it may not last another 63 days. I’m serious. Last weekend, Pittsburgh’s …

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THIS WEEK’S HALL-OF-FAME GAME San Francisco @ Denver, 8:30 p.m. (EDT) The line: Broncos by 6-1/2 The story: This isn’t a game as much as it is a coronation, with Peyton Manning looking to break Brett Favre’s career touchdown record. Manning is three short of setting it, and with him throwing three TDs in four …

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Most NFL coaches are fortunate if they get one franchise quarterback in their careers. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, a former quarterback himself, has had three of them in his NFL coaching career – Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. “I always called Peyton a piranha,” said Arians, whose 3-0 Cardinals have a …

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THIS WEEK’S HALL-OF-FAME GAME Indianapolis @ Denver, 8:30 p.m. EDT The line: Broncos by 7.5 The story: Denver is the defending AFC champion, but plenty of people out there think Indianapolis — not Denver and not New England — is the team to beat this season. The Colts last year knocked off Denver, Seattle and …

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