The AFC South is probably going to be the most competitive division in the AFC this season. Last season, the AFC South was the only division in the NFL where three teams finished with a winning record. The biggest change of the offseason from this division came from the Jacksonville Jaguars the only team in the division to finish with a losing record last season. Last season, the Jaguars finished the season with a 5-11 record following a season when they were one win away from their first ever Super Bowl appearance. The offense for the Jaguars was a huge reason for their struggles as they finished 31st in the league in points per game. This offseason the Jags signed former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to a four-year deal following a season where he went 4-1 as a starter with the Eagles and led them to a Wild Card playoff win against the Chicago Bears. Will this move be enough to propel the Jacksonville Jaguars to the top of the AFC South and back in the playoffs? Let’s take a look at the AFC South!
Indianapolis Colts: 12-4
The winner of the AFC South division will be…the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts started last season very slow as they had a 1-5 record in the first six games of the season. The ended the season going 9-1 to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs where they beat the Texans in the Wild Card round. I think the Colts take the next step winning the division and compete for a first round bye in this season’s playoffs. Last season, the Colts struggled to remain healthy which was a huge reason for them getting off to a slow start. With a more healthy roster and a favorable schedule going into this season, I expect the Colts to be a serious contender this season and highly likely to make it to the AFC Championship game and possibly even the Super Bowl.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 10-6
I have the Jacksonville Jaguars recovering from what was a down season last season to competing for a wild card playoff spot this season. Ultimately, I think the acquisition of Nick Foles will be beneficial for the Jags. If Leonard Fournette is able to come back healthy along with a solid receiving corp in Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, and the recently acquired Chris Conley from the Kansas City Chiefs, Nick Foles will have a slew of help in an offense that is very likely to improve from last year. In addition, the Jags have possibly the best defensive secondary in the NFL today and made some new additions in the offseason to improve their pass rush. This team is good enough to go from the Wild Card and possible challenge for a spot in the Super Bowl this season.
Houston Texans: 9-7
This was a tough decision but I have the Texans just missing out on the playoffs this season. This is tough because while the Texans have a very good team that will present a challenge not only in their division but in the AFC, they just don’t have enough to get past the Jags or the Colts. The Texans have a very good team on both sides of the ball and I would not be surprised if they reached double digit wins again this season. However, I’m confident that the Colts and Jags will be much improved from last season and will overtake the Texans for the top two spots in the AFC South.
Tennessee Titans: 7-9
At the bottom of the AFC South will be the Tennessee Titans. The Titans, although a team with solid talent on both sides of the ball, do not compare to the other teams in the division. The biggest problem for the Titans is that their offense has underachieved as their offense was among the worst last season. Marcus Mariota last season had career lows in passing yards per game, QBR, and was sacked more times last season than in any other season. Although their defense remains intact and could possibly be as good as they were last season, they did not make enough changes in the offseason to improve their offense and I can not see them being good enough to finish better than I expect. For these reasons, I have the Titans finishing at the bottom of the AFC South.