Last time we went over the AFC East and who would reign supreme there. Now we’ll head to the AFC South and see how things are there. Perhaps no division has seen more change in the QB position than the AFC South. Only the Titans are guaranteed to have the same starting QB as last season. Two teams will for sure have new QBs and the third team (Houston) are dealing with a QB that’s in law trouble. Oh, and that QB also wants to be traded. So, without further ado let’s jump into this division.
Unless you’re a fan of one of the other teams in the division you’ll be hard pressed to pick someone other than the Titans winning the division this year. Like I mentioned before they have the most stability at the QB position. With Ryan Tannehill running the offense we can expect a level of consistency the other teams can’t rely on. Of course we can\’t forget about Derrick Henry who is arguably the best RB in the league. The offense will run through him, but the addition of Julio Jones will give defenses another headache to worry about. Julio joins AJ Brown to form a deadly duo in the passing game which should ease the burden on Henry.
Looking at their offense one would think the Titans are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. While their offense should be spectacular the same can\’t be said on the defensive side of the ball. No team was worse stopping opposing offenses on 3rd down than the Titans. Tennessee went defense heavy in the draft and while that should help, don\’t expect drastic changes. The defense remains the Achilles heel to this team and may end up being the reason this team doesn\’t reach the Super Bowl. That being said, expect this team to celebrate another division title.
Philip Rivers retiring meant that the Colts needed a new QB. That\’s why this offseason they swung a deal with the Eagles to acquire Carson Wentz. Wentz figures to be the starting QB for, what the Colts hope, the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for the Colts, Wentz suffered a foot injury and needed to have surgery. While he\’s on track to start week 1 the injury does raise concerns about his durability moving forward. Besides Wentz, the Colts have an offense eager to showcase their talents. Jonathan Taylor will be looking to build upon his solid rookie season and avoid the sophomore slump.
The defense surprised quite a few people last season with their stellar play. Unfortunately for Indy they lost a few key players on that side of the ball. The results remain to be seen, but anytime you lose a few starters there tends to be some regression. Darius Leonard will continue to lead the defense and hope the replacements can step up along the way. A repeat of 2020 doesn\’t seem likely thus expect the Colts defense to take a step back this year. Whether or not this team finds themselves in a playoff spot rest largely on the shoulders of Wentz. What could help is the bottom two teams in this division aren\’t particularly good which could boost the Colt\’s overall win total.
A new era in Jacksonville has begun with Urban Meyer being named head coach. Urban made the move to draft Trevor Lawrence who is regarded as one of the best QB prospects in the last decade. Expectations are high for the Lawrence, but one has to be reminded that he is just a rookie. Don\’t expect him to light up the league in his first season as there will no doubt be some growing pains. A RB duo of Robinson and Etienne Jr should ease the burden on the rookie QB. As with all rebuilding teams the question will be whether or not the offensive line can consistently protect their new QB.
Over the last couple of years Jacksonville has been known for their defense and that will once again be the case this year. With a rookie QB the defense will be relied upon to save the day. Now whether or not they can come through might be one of the biggest questions for this team. On paper this defense is loaded with talent, but it hasn\’t translated to the field yet. If they can live up to their potential this defense could be among the best. Since the defense is young we\’ll assume they end up a level below the elite. Don\’t expect a playoff berth, but the future is bright for this franchise.
There\’s a lot wrong with this franchise and very little right. We\’d be amiss if we didn\’t start with the sexual assault allegations against star QB Deshaun Watson. These allegations came out shortly after the star QB demanded a trade from the franchise. The legal system will work out the case and hopefully can get the truth and do the right thing. In the meantime the Texans have flipped flopped on whether or not to trade Watson. This story has in a way covered up the rest of the mess that this organization has going on right now. A severe lack of talent on both sides of the ball and management that doesn\’t seem to have a plan moving forward.
Defensively, the Texans were among the worst in the league and things won\’t be much better this time around. Losing their best defensive player in JJ Watt, this defense doesn\’t have a game changer. The team has made a few minor moves and adjustments to help with their deficiencies. But it\’s looking like another year of open season for opposing offenses. Texan fans would be advised to watch college football in search of the next star as Houston are the odds on favorites to have the worst record. A long season awaits Texans fans and the rest of league will watch to see what becomes of Watson. Last place in the division is the only place we see the Texans finishing.