AFC South All-Decade Squads: Watt, Luck headline star-studded division
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theScore's Mike Alessandrini is assembling all-decade lineups and ranking all 32 teams based on those rosters. Contributions from 2010 to 2019 were taken into account, with player selections based on peak production, longevity, and overall impact. Those who spent only one season with a club did not qualify.

Our series continues with the AFC South squads.

AFC (June 22-25)
East | North | South | West

NFC (June 29-July 2)
East | North | South | West

Final rankings
See how all 32 rosters stack up

Houston Texans

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Head coach: Bill O'Brien

POS. Player POS. Player
QB Deshaun Watson DE J.J. Watt
RB Arian Foster NT D.J. Reader
WR DeAndre Hopkins DE Antonio Smith
WR Andre Johnson OLB Jadeveon Clowney
Slot Will Fuller ILB Brian Cushing
TE Owen Daniels ILB Benardrick McKinney
LT Duane Brown OLB Whitney Mercilus
LG Wade Smith CB Johnathan Joseph
C Chris Myers CB Kareem Jackson
RG Brandon Brooks FS Andre Hal
RT Derek Newton SS Danieal Manning
K Ka'imi Fairbairn P Shane Lechler

The AFC South's most accomplished franchise last decade, Houston racked up six division titles and four playoff wins during the 2010s.

Watt is the star of the show. You could make a case for him as the NFL's premier defensive player last decade, as he earned five first-team All-Pro nods and averaged 15 sacks per campaign during those seasons. Alongside Watt are Reader and Smith, who were natural matchup winners against the run and pass, respectively.

Clowney and Mercilus form a productive duo on the edge. The former No. 1 overall pick never developed as an elite pass-rusher, though he was a stout all-around defender across five seasons in Houston. Mercilus' consistency was often overshadowed, but he notched at least seven sacks four times. Finally, while the Texans never fielded a high-level safety duo, Joseph and Jackson were pillars at cornerback, starting a combined 252 contests.

Watson would have plenty of weapons to work with on offense, led by two of the league's best receivers during their respective tenures. Hopkins is coming off three straight All-Pro selections, and Johnson eclipsed 1,000 yards three times despite being past his prime. Brown and Myers lead a strong offensive line to aid Foster in the run game. One of the top running backs during the first half of last decade, Foster averaged 4.5 yards per carry, 1,900 scrimmage yards, and scored 47 touchdowns from 2010-2012.

Indianapolis Colts

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Head coach: Chuck Pagano

POS. Player POS. Player
QB Andrew Luck DE Robert Mathis
RB Frank Gore DT Cory Redding
WR T.Y. Hilton DT Denico Autry
WR Reggie Wayne DE Dwight Freeney
TE Jack Doyle LB Darius Leonard
TE Dwayne Allen LB Jerrell Freeman
LT Anthony Castonzo CB Vontae Davis
LG Quenton Nelson CB Kenny Moore
C Ryan Kelly NCB Darius Butler
RG Jack Mewhort FS Antoine Bethea
RT Joe Reitz SS Mike Adams
K Adam Vinatieri P Pat McAfee

It's fair for Colts fans to be disappointed their team couldn't bring home a championship between 2010-2019. This is an impressive roster with playmakers at a handful of key positions.

Before a multitude of injuries ended Luck's career, the prodigal quarterback filled Peyton Manning's shoes quite well. He quickly developed into an elite NFL passer despite often playing with a below-average supporting cast. This is evident at running back - where Gore starts over Marlon Mack despite a mediocre tenure with Indy - and with little receiving depth behind Hilton and Wayne. At least the wideout duo would provide polished pass-catching options for Luck - Wayne was an All-Pro in 2010 and Hilton surpassed 1,000 yards five times in six seasons between 2013-2018.

Even though it took the majority of the decade - likely too long for Luck - to assemble an elite blocking unit, the Colts' offense features a quality line. Former first-rounders Castonzo, Nelson, and Kelly lead the group. Castonzo, specifically, deserves credit for nine solid campaigns with the club as a run-blocker and pass-protector.

Indianapolis' defense is a bit more dicey. Its strength lies in the pass-rush department with Mathis and Freeney. The legendary duo spent just three years together last decade near the end of their careers, but they made them count. Mathis even led the NFL with 19.5 sacks and an incredible 10 forced fumbles in 2013 without Freeney. While the Colts' secondary won't impress on paper, Davis was a difference-maker at cornerback. At linebacker, Freeman and Leonard provided an impact in small sample sizes. There's talent here, but depth and consistency would likely hurt this unit.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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Head coach: Doug Marrone

POS. Player POS. Player
QB Blake Bortles DE Calais Campbell
RB Maurice Jones-Drew DT Malik Jackson
WR Allen Robinson DT Abry Jones
WR Cecil Shorts DE Yannick Ngakoue
Slot Allen Hurns MLB Paul Posluszny
TE Marcedes Lewis WLB Telvin Smith
LT Eugene Monroe SLB Myles Jack
LG Zane Beadles CB Jalen Ramsey
C Brandon Linder CB A.J. Bouye
RG Uche Nwaneri FS Tashaun Gipson
RT Jeremy Parnell SS Johnathan Cyprien
K Josh Scobee P Bryan Anger

Defense, defense, defense. Jacksonville's stop unit was extremely fun to assemble with star players across the board, and most of the roster actually played together for a short time. Campbell and Ngakoue off the edge with Jackson inside complete a frightening pass-rush trio, as they combined for 87 sacks during their time in Duval County. At the next level, Posluszny, Smith, and Jack would compete with most other linebacking trios, offering production, athleticism, coverage chops, and elite run-defense skills.

We can't talk Jaguars defenders without mentioning Ramsey. Though his time with the franchise ended on a sour note, the flashy cornerback's bona fides speak for themselves: nine interceptions, three Pro Bowls, and one All-Pro selection. Ramsey and Bouye form a shutdown duo on the perimeter. Safety is the only less-than-stellar position on the unit, with Gipson and Cyprien manning the back end.

Unfortunately, Marrone's offense doesn't quite match up with its defense. Bortles' much-maligned Jaguars tenure still earned him the starting job over fellow first-round bust Blaine Gabbert (if only Jacksonville had hit on one of these draft picks). Robinson and Jones-Drew represent Bortles' most notable weapons, with MJD dominating in 2010 and 2011 out of the backfield. On the offensive line, Monroe, Parnell, and Linder were solid contributors despite never earning Pro Bowl berths.

While the Jaguars can always look back at their 2017 postseason, it's not difficult to see why every other campaign last decade ended with eight wins or fewer. The defense is as exciting as it gets, but quarterback play and a limited number of offensive weapons ultimately hold this team back.

Tennessee Titans

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Head coach: Mike Vrabel

POS. Player POS. Player
QB Marcus Mariota DE Jurrell Casey
RB Chris Johnson NT DaQuan Jones
WR Nate Washington OLB Derrick Morgan
WR Rishard Matthews ILB Avery Williamson
Slot Kendall Wright ILB Wesley Woodyard
TE Delanie Walker OLB Brian Orakpo
LT Taylor Lewan CB Jason McCourty
LG Quinton Spain CB Adoree' Jackson
C Ben Jones NCB Alterraun Verner
RG Chance Warmack FS Kevin Byard
RT Jack Conklin SS Michael Griffin
K Rob Bironas P Brett Kern

Tennessee wasn't exactly a picture of sustained success over the last 10 years, failing to eclipse nine wins in a single season. After piecing together this roster, we can see why. The Titans fell short at a handful of key positions despite also fielding a few foundational pieces.

The team's offensive line would likely win most matchups on game day, which isn't a bad place to start. Lewan and Conklin complete a quality tackle tandem, while Spain, Jones, and Warmack each had their bright spots.

Mariota was Tennessee's only legitimate choice at quarterback despite never truly meeting expectations as the second overall pick in 2015. Washington, Matthews, and Wright are fine receivers, though the trio was easily the weakest among all clubs in this exercise. At least Walker provides stability and an all-around game at tight end. Finally, Johnson commands the starting running back spot. His 2,000-yard season in 2009 fell a year short of qualifying, but he churned out 1,000 yards in each of the next four. However, his lack of juice became more apparent as time went on.

On the other side of the ball, Vrabel's defense is led by a deep and talented secondary. McCourty was a solid cornerback for seven seasons in Tennessee, Verner excelled in the slot, and Byard quickly emerged as a ball-hawking safety after entering the league in 2016. Meanwhile, Morgan and Orakpo combined for 70.5 sacks with the Titans, adding a bit of punch on the edge. Casey was arguably the team's top defender, consistently dominating blockers en route to five Pro Bowl berths.

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AFC South All-Decade Squads: Watt, Luck headline star-studded division
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