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The AFC South is arguably the worst division in the league. The AFC South had 2 teams that finished last in the league and tied for 3rd to last in the league last season. Let’s break down if any of these teams can make a leap.
AFC South: Houston
Where do we start with Houston, it isn’t enough that they had to get rid of their best
talent in Deshaun Watson because of his sexual misconduct charges, they also lost
Deandre Hopkins and JJ Watt to the Arizona Cardinals. Bill O’Brien was arguably one of
the worst coaches the NFL has ever seen, not only losing a lot, but also the way he
treated his players as well. The real question is, can you really blame the Texans for
having such terrible seasons? Their front office has had no signs of improving and they
are doing the best they can. The players are doing their jobs by putting in the work and
effort to want to have a good team, but the owners show no sign of putting in effort to
make it a good franchise. Essentially, the Houston Texans are in for a long rebuilding
session, so it is likely that they will not be at the top of their division for a while. Drafting
a good defensive player in Derek Stingley Jr. may bring some hope into the eyes of the franchise and potentially set them up for a better season than last. The Texans open up their 2022 regular season against division rival Indianapolis, at home and then travel to Denver to play against the Broncos. Houston has a long way to go, but they can get there by making the right moves when needed.
The Colts are the best team in this division sharing it with the Tennessee Titans, of
course that is not saying anything when you have two of the worst teams in the league
with you. Although, Indianapolis does have the best running back in the league right
now in Jonathan Taylor. Taylor had over 1800 rushing yards last season with over 350
receiving yards as well. The Colts look to use him more as a receiver this season as
well, to make him even more versatile. The Colts also managed to snag veteran QB, Matt Ryan as well, in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. This should make the Colts top receiver Michael Pittman Jr. happy because Ryan can throw the ball well despite being 38. The QB also has great experience in the league and high IQ across the field to find Pittman when he is open. Their defense could use a little work but they are promising to stop a few drives down the field, as long as their offense can put points up on the board. The Colts and Titans should really fight over the top spot in the AFC South. Indianapolis travels down to Houston to play their division rival, and the Colts are heavily favored in this first game matchup.
The Jaguars have had some trouble finding a head coach that fits them, they have also
had trouble getting young talent that can perform to their full potential. With Urban
Meyer being fired, and taking Trevor Lawrence first in the draft last year, hoping he
would bring a spark to the Jaguars offense, Jacksonville has had an issue ever since
their playoff berth back in 2017 with QB Blake Bortles leading the way. Hoping to
improve their defensive unit, the Jags took Travon Walker first overall in the draft, an edge rusher out of Georgia, and then took a LB from Utah as the 20th pick. Travis Etienne Jr is also back in the mix after suffering a foot injury and didn’t even see the field last season. The hope for Jacksonville is that Trevor Lawrence was just in a rookie season slump, which most QB’s have, and he will find a connection with Marvin Jones Jr. Travis Etienne will become the running back they have always looked for, and with these new additions to their defense, it will soon become a standout team in the future. Jacksonville will take a short trip up to Atlanta to play the Falcons in the first game of the
season, where they hope to at least make a valiant effort to try and win.
The Titans are trying to get everyone back and healthy, especially star RB, Derrick
Henry. Ryan Tannenhill and the Tennessee offense badly need Henry to make his
return quickly. Of course he did play in the postseason, but that was not the Derrick
Henry everyone was used to playing. The back says that he is fueled by that injury in
2021 and has been putting in the work for the 2022 season to come back stronger and
healthier than he was before. Tannenhill badly needs Henry as well, the Titans no
longer have their top receiver in AJ Brown anymore as he went to the Eagles in a trade.
Treylon Burks will more than likely be the top choice for Tannenhill this season after
being taken in the 2022 draft, unless the Titans pull off some trick and magically get a
star WR. They do have Austin Hooper at the TE position to throw at as well, but a rookie
and a TE who did not see that many passes come his way last season could pose an
issue. The Titans will open their season up at home against the New York Giants,
where Tennessee should have no issues taking down Daniel Jones and company.
With the AFC South being a division who struggles greatly, we see that Indianapolis and
Tennessee will more than likely hold the top spots this year in the division, but don’t
leave out Jacksonville as they could potentially sneak up on one of the two teams and into a wild card spot.