The AFC South will again be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.
Last season, the Texans took the division while rivals Tennesee and Indianapolis battled in week 17 for a playoff spot. Indianapolis won, and downed Houston the following week in the first round. This season should be even more exciting in the AFC South, as Jacksonville will look to compete after adding 2017 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to the roster.
After winning the South in 2018, the Texans beefed up their biggest weakness in the draft which was their offensive line. The Texans will have a tough time early finding wins but should pick up a few from the Jaguars (home), Panthers, Falcons, and Raiders. Weeks 6-11 will be brutal, but from week 12 the Texans should be able to salvage their season winning five of their last six. Their offensive line is going to have their work cut out for them.
Prediction: 9-7 (4-2)
The Jaguars will have an instant upgrade with Nick Foles replacing Blake Bortles at quarterback. The question is: Who will Nick Foles throw to? The receiving core isn’t very good, but RB Leonard Fournette should take the pressure off of Foles with a good run game. The Jags defense is still solid. Alas, it’s going to be a rough season as the Jags have the third toughest schedule in the NFL. After starting 1-6, the Jags should start picking up wins against more favorable opponents. They’ll take down the Jets, Texans (at home), Colts after their bye week, Bucs, Raiders, and finish the season with a gut checking victory against the Colts. They’ll be improved from 2018, but still not playoff ready.
Prediction: 7-9 (4-2)
Tennessee added much-needed depth at quarterback by adding Ryan Tannehill to the roster. He may take over as the starter if Marcus Mariota has a bad year. The Titans also beefed their line with Rodger Saffold and their WR core with Adam Humphries. But did they do enough? High powered offenses pad the Titans schedule early. The 27th ranked offense in football won’t be able to keep up with their early opponents and may result in a 2-4 start. The Titans defense, however, steps up in big games and will propel them to victory against the Chargers, Bucs, Chiefs, Jags (at home) and Raiders. By week 15, the Titans will be playoff contention at 7-6, but a gauntlet of Houston (twice) and New Orleans may extinguish their postseason hopes.
Prediction: 7-9 (2-4)
Indianapolis is an early favorite to win the AFC South, and they have the weapons to do so. The Colts added edge rusher Justin Houston, and he will instantly upgrade the defense. Much of the Colts success will rely on quarterback Andrew Luck’s health, but with him healthy, there’s no doubt that they are a contender. After a shocking 0-2 start, the Colts will get back on track winning six of their next seven and climbing to first place. Newcomer Nick Foles will derail the Colts winning streak, and the Texans will avenge an early-season loss the following week. The Colts will rebound against the Titans, and make it to week 17 with the division title within reach.
Prediction: 9-7 (2-4)
The AFC South will end with a twist, however, as Nick Foles once again leads the Jaguars past the Colts while the Texans down the Titans to seize the division.
AFC South Standings: 2019-20 Prediction
Texans 9-7 (4-2)
Colts 9-7 (2-4)
Jaguars 7-9 (4-2)
Titans 7-9 (2-4)
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