Now that we have the AFC East and North out of the way, let’s turn the attention to the south. You could say that this is the weakest division in the AFC or in the NFL period. The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars have been the laughing stock of the league. The last couple years haven’t been kind to either franchise. The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts have been far more successful. The Titans were a game away from the Super Bowl a couple years ago. Indianapolis is creeping closer, but they’re currently looking for a long-term answer at the QB position. Will the Colts and Titans be the cream of the crop in the AFC South this season? Will the Jaguars surprise people and show a lot of improvement this season? Who will be the 2022 AFC South division champs?
The Houston Texans are still a work in progress as they have finally moved on from Deshaun Watson. Houston is banking on Davis Mills developing this season. Unfortunately, Mills doesn’t have much help outside of Brandin Cooks. The Texans John Metchie III out of Alabama, but he will likely miss the season. The rookie receiver was diagnosed with leukemia. Houston signed Steven Nelson to help boost their secondary. Nelson should complement Texans first round pick Derrick Stingley Jr. Houston is headed in the right direction, but they still have at least a couple more years to go.
The Indianapolis Colts have been on the verge of something special the past couple of seasons. Philip Rivers retired after a playoff run a couple seasons ago. The Colts traded for Carson Wentz with the hopes of him regaining his MVP form from 2017. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t happen so they shipped him off to Washington. Indianapolis traded for Matt Ryan with hopes of making that leap. They insured their defense by bringing in Stephen Gilmore, Rodney McCloud and Yannick Ngakoue. They also brought in Phillip Lindsey to help Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. If they protect Matt Ryan, this Colts team could surprise some people. I’m picking Indianapolis to win the AFC South this season.
The Jaguars enter this season under a new regime. Doug Pederson will bring his championship pedigree with the hopes of turning this franchise around. Pederson lead the Eagles to their lone Super Bowl title back in 2017. Jacksonville brought in some weapons for Trevor Lawrence this offseason. They made a huge splash by signing Christian Kirk away from the Arizona Cardinals. They are hoping bringing in Zay Jones and Evan Engram will open things up for the Jaguars offense. To protect Lawrence, they signed All-Pro Guard Brandon Scherff. Jacksonville made a couple of acquisitions on the defensive side, but nothing similar to the offense. Jacksonville has a ways to go to start contending in the AFC South.
Mike Vrabel has built a nice culture up in Nashville. They almost made the Super Bowl a couple seasons ago. Last year, the injury bug hit them and they didn’t get as far. They will start the season with a healthy Derrick Henry. During the NFL Draft, they traded away their franchise receiver A.J. Brown to the Eagles. The defense is one of the better ones in the league and they will rely heavily on it again this season. They managed to extend the heart of their defense Harold Landry III. Tennessee added Austin Hooper to maybe give Ryan Tannehill some sort of comfort. Can the Titans win their third consecutive AFC South championship?
My AFC South Rankings
- Indianapolis Colts
- Tennessee Titans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Houston Texans
What do you think about the AFC South this season? Do you see the Tennessee Titans finishing atop the division again? Can the Indianapolis Colts make a serious run? Who do you think wins the division? Leave some feedback about anything related to the AFC South below.