2019 NFL Predictions: AFC South

We continue our NFL kickoff  countdown with the AFC South. Over the past five days, we’ve given you a preview of what to expect from some of the top divisions in football. We’ll continue that here and see who has what it takes to win the AFC South.


It’s going to be an interesting season in the AFC South because of all the moves made via injuries, retirement, etc. I’ll break it all down as it leads to each team. How will they all benefit with the changes? Can the Texans and Colts make playoffs again? Can the Jaguars and Titans get back in? Let’s find out!

1. Houston Texans

 Last season’s record: 11-5

Postseason Result: Lost to Indianapolis Colts (21-7) in the Wild Card round

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed:

  • RB Duke Johnson (Traded from Cleveland)
  • LT Laremy Tunlis and WR Kenny Stills (Traded from Miami)
  • RB Carlos Hyde (Traded from Kansas City)
  • DE’s Jake Martin and Barkevious Mingo (Traded from Seattle)
  • CB Keion Crossen (Traded from New England)
  • TE Darren Fells (Cleveland)
  • LT Matt Kalil (Carolina)
  • SS Jahleel Addae (L.A. Chargers)
  • P Bryan Anger (Tampa Bay)
  • CB Bradley Roby (Denver)
  • S Tashaun Gipson and CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (Jacksonville)
  • QB AJ McCarron and RB Taiwan Jones (Buffalo)

Drafted: 

  • OT Tytus Howard (23rd)
  • CB Lonnie Johnson (54th)
  • OT Max Scharping (55th)
  • TE Kahale Warring (86th)
  • RB Cullen Gillaspia (220th)
  • CB Xavier Crawford (195th)
  • DE Charles Omenihu (161th)

Offseason Departures:

  • RB Lamar Miller (Injured ACL)
  • DE  Jadeveon Clowney (Traded to Seattle)
  • C Martinas Rankin (Traded to Kansas City)
  • LT Julie’n Davenport and CB Johnson Bademosi (Traded to Miami)
  • S Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City)
  • CB Kareem Jackson (Denver)
  • CB Kevin Johnson (Buffalo)
  • TE Ryan Griffin (N.Y. Jets)
  • OT Kendall Lamm (Browns)
  • RB D’Onta Foreman (Indianapolis)
  • WR Demaryius Thomas (Free Agent)
  • Retired P Shane Lecher

The Big Question:

Despite all the news of DE Jadeveon Clowney being traded to Seattle, the Texans have other concerns to worry about.

How will the defense perform with the loss of Clowney? How about the offense? Can WRs Will Fuller, Keke Coutee and newly acquired Kenny Stills stay healthy enough for QB Deshaun Watson to have more weapons? Stills could be a secret weapon alongside DeAndre Hopkins.

What about the running game? With the injury to RB Lamar Miller, can Duke Johnson become a star? Will they look to add another RB in the mix via trade or free agency? I think the Texans defense might be good either way. They’ve continuously been a top tier defensive team.

If the receiving core can stay healthy, there’s a lot more opportunities to be successful on the offensive side, and the running game wouldn’t matter as much. Although, I think they’ll find a way to add more RB depth, whether it’s part of a trade or free agency.  Let’s see how well their season goes.

Prediction: 11-5

 

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last season’s record: 5-11

Postseason Result: N/A

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed:

  • ILB Myles Jack (Extended)
  • TE James O’Shaughnessy
  • OL Tyler Shatley
  • RB Alfred Blue (Houston)
  • WR Terrelle Pryor (N.Y. Jets)
  • QB Nick Foles (Philadelphia)
  • ILB Jake Ryan (Green Bay) 
  • TE Geoff Swaim (Dallas)
  • WR Chris Conley (Kansas City)
  • OT Cedric Ogbuehi (Cincinnati)

Draft: 

  • DE Josh Allen (7th)
  • RT Jawaan Taylor (35th)
  • TE Josh Oliver (69th)
  • LB Quincy Williams (98th) 
  • QB Gardner Minshew (178th)
  •  DT Dontavius Russell (235th)

Offseason Departures:

  • DT Malik Jackson (Philadelphia)
  • RB T.J. Yeldon (Buffalo)
  • RB Carlos Hyde (Kansas City to Houston)
  • QB Blake Bortles (L. A. Rams)
  • WR Donte Moncrief (Pittsburgh) 
  • OT Ereck Flowers (Washington) 
  • RT Jeremy Parnell (New Orleans) 
  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Free Agent)

The Big Question: 

The Jaguars made one big change to their roster this offseason, and it was to the most important position on the team. That position is the QB spot. The Jaguars signed Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles, while getting rid of Blake Bortles.

There are several questions that could be asked here, like the impact RB Leonard Fournette will have this season after spending most of last season banged up with injuries.

There’s also the health of the Jaguars WRs too. Last year was another injury prone season for the Jaguars receiving core. It honestly made Bortles look worse then he was at times. 

I don’t think Bortles is a bad QB, it just wasn’t the right system for him. However, this will be a good season for the Jaguars with Nick Foles. They finish with a 9-7 record behind a tough schedule.

Prediction: 9-7

 

3. Tennessee Titans

Last season’s record: 9-7

Postseason Result: N/A

Offseason Acquisitions: 

Signed:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill (Traded from Miami)
  • DE Reggie Gilbert (Green Bay)
  • G Rodger Saffold (Oakland)
  • WR Adam Humphries and OG Kevin Pamphile (Tampa Bay)
  • DE Cameron Wake (Miami)
  • DT Brent Urban (Baltimore)
  •  

Draft:

  • DT Jeff Simmons (19th)
  • WR A.J. Brown (51st)
  • G Nate Davis (82nd)
  • S Amani Hooker (116th)
  • OLB D’Andre Walker (168th)
  • LB David Long (188th)

Offseason Departures: 

  • Retired RB Chris Johnson and OLB Derrick Morgan 
  • WR Taywan Taylor (Traded to Cleveland)
  • G Josh Kline (Minnesota)
  • S Johnathan Cyprien (Philadelphia) 
  • TE Luke Stocker (Atlanta)
  • QB Blaine Gabbert (Tampa Bay)

The Big Question: 

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Titans has to do with their receiving group. Can Corey Davis actually be the top receiver in the Titans offense? How long will it take A.J. Brown to adjust to the NFL game?

I’m not too worried about the Titans defense, because I think they will continue to be a good force. For the Titans to find success and be able to compete this season, they will need to be able to find a way. 

For the sake of the Titans, I hope their receiving core can find a way to come up big this season. It’ll take a lot pressure off of both Henry and TE Delaine Walker as two guys who look to be a huge part of the Titans offense. 

Prediction: 9-7

 

4. Indianapolis Colts:

Last season’s record: 10-6

Postseason Result: Beat Houston Texans (21-7) in Wild Card round, Lost to Kansas City Chiefs (31-13) in the Divisional round

Offseason Acquisitions:

Signed: 

  • G Evan Boehm (Traded from Miami)
  • CB Nate Hairston (Traded from N.Y. Jets)
  • C Jake Eldrenkamp and QB Hoyer (New England)
  • DE Justin Houston (Kansas City)
  • WR Devin Funchess (Carolina)
  • DB Pierre Desir
  • LB Luke Rhodes 
  • DB Clayton Geathers
  • WR Chester Rogers

Draft:

  • CB Rock Ya-Sin (34th) 
  • DE Ben Banogu (49th)
  • WR Parris Campbell (59th) 
  • LB Bobby Okereke (89th)
  • S Khari Willis (109th)
  • LB E.J. Speed (164th)

Offseason Departures:

  • Retired QB Andrew Luck
  • DT Hassan Ridgeway (Traded to Philadelphia)
  • WR Ryan Grant and TE Erik Swoope (Oakland)
  • WR Dontrelle Inman (L.A. Chargers) 

The Big Question:

The Colts were hit by the surprise announcement of QB Andrew Luck’s retirement. Now they’re faced with a lot of important questions.

Was it really a surprise? As banged as Luck was,  he Colts should’ve seen this coming.  Now we worry about how QB Jacoby Brissett will play as the starter again. Can he have the “Luck” for the Colts?

I’m expecting the defense to be fine, but can Brissett and WR T.Y. Hilton build chemistry together? Hilton’s production was at a career-low with Brissett at QB in 2017, and we hope it’s not the same this year. 

The Colts added a lot of offensive pieces over the years, and they should be able to find some success this year with RB’s Marlon Mack and Nyhiem Hines to join Hilton, Devin Funchess and TE’s Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron as they look to make the playoffs again.

Prediction: 6-10

 

Predicted Division Standings:

  1. Houston Texans (11-5)

  2. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7)

  3. Tennessee Titans (9-7)

  4. Indianapolis Colts (6-10)

 

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