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DeAndre Hopkins: We’re the team to beat in AFC South

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 27: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans makes a reception against Coty Sensabaugh #24 of the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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Starting in 2009, the AFC South division title has belonged to either the Colts or the Texans.

The Colts won two in a row, the Texans followed with two and then the Colts returned to win a pair before the Texans took the crown in 2015. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins thinks that his club should keep that pattern going with a second straight title this season.

“I feel like we’ve earned that title to be the team to beat in the AFC South,” Hopkins said, via the Houston Chronicle. “When I got here, it was the Colts. We finally [got] over that hump. Hopefully, we can continue to be the team to beat.”

It’s hard to argue with Hopkins’ take on the situation. The Colts have to show they solved the issues that tripped them up on both sides of the ball last year, the Jaguars have to show that their promise translates into on-field success and the Titans are trying to build a competitive team after several poor seasons.

If the Texans’ bet on quarterback Brock Osweiler pays off, they’ll be well positioned to remain the team to beat in the division for a while. Hopkins likes what he’s seen thus far, saying it is “very pleasing to work with a guy that’s demanding and a leader like [Osweiler]” and that he’s “anxious” to see how things play out this season.