Today, we have arrived for our next rendition of the 2021 NFL Division Prediction Series with the AFC South.
Las season, this division had everything. Rebuilding teams, high-end talent and drama defined the division this offseason. Let’s see how they fare for this season.
A total rebuild is about to start in full swing for the Houston Texans this year. The main reasons why it’s happening in vary ways.
From bringing in David Culley as their new head coach to the ongoing allegation situation for their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson, the Texans are expected to be bad this season.
It’ll be a different team this year regardless of Watson’s situation as they signed running backs Mark Ingram II and Philip Lindsay and quarterback Tyrod Taylor in case their franchise player won’t be available. Houston also drafted Davis Mills from Stanford for insurance as well.
All signs point to a long year for the Texans, but anything can happen. Just hopes don’t turn to dark before it’s too late.
After finishing as the new seventh seed in the AFC Playoffs last season, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to take a big leap in 2021. However, they have a couple question marks on offense.
With Phillip Rivers retired after serving one season as Indy’s quarterback, the Colts acquired Carson Wentz to be their successor despite noticeable health issues.
The team could be relying to be a game manager to lead their defensive team, who brought back almost everyone from last season. One notable move they upgraded on defense was drafting Michigan pass rusher Kwity Paye to bolster their stacked defensive line.
It’s deep playoff run or bust for the Colts this year, but offense needs to step up to convince others that they can contend with the best teams. If Wentz stays healthy, it will make a huge case this season.
Just like their rivals in Houston, the Jacksonville Jaguars are also entering a rebuild and new era of their own.
A new head coach in college football legend Urban Meyer, first overall draft pick in Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and new weapons on offense.
To help out Lawrence and second-year running back James Robinson, the Jaguars signed wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Jamal Agnew. But they suffered a huge blow as rookie running back Travis Etienne suffered a season-ending foot injury.
Jacksonville also brought in Sidney Jones and drafted Tyson Campbell for their secondary, and also signed defensive lineman Malcolm Brown to provide playmakers for their near bottom-ranked defense.
For a team that went 1-15 last year, the only way the Jaguars can go is up. And for the team trying to find its footing, if they get five wins, it’s a great season. Let’s see how Meyer and Lawrence can mesh first before we can go higher for them.
With an All-Pro running back in Derrick Henry fresh off a 2,000-yard season, the Tennessee Titans approached the offseason to make the team as explosive as possible.
Back in June, Tennessee pulled off the trade to bring in All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones to compliment Henry and fellow receiver AJ Brown.
Other moves the Titans made was bringing in pass rusher Bud Dupree to play alongside defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons, and drafted cornerbacks in Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and Washington’s Elijah Molden to solidify their secondary.
Tennessee is expected to be in a dogfight with rival Indianapolis this season for the division, and they look locked and loaded to clinch it again. With coaching and playoff experience surrounding the team, that idea could be real for 2021.
PROJECTED AFC SOUTH DIVISION STANDINGS
- Tennessee Titans 12-5**
- Indianapolis Colts 9-8
- Jacksonville Jaguars 5-12
- Houston Texans 3-13-1
The AFC South is a little weak and the division title race will be a close one, but we’ll give the slight edge to the Titans based on experience. Indianapolis has the potential to compete with how their defense is, but their offense will struggle in games and leave them of the division and playoffs.
Jacksonville will see slow, but significant progress with their two new leaders at the helm, and Houston is going to be bad pending on the deal surrounding Deshaun Watson.