CANTON,Ohio- This AFC South division used to be so easy to pick. It was usually the Colt’s division but now the Texans are a real threat. Don’t sleep on Jacksonville. And the Titans are building. Let’s get it started!
The Tennessee Titans-
OFFENSE- I was not high on Marcus Mariota being a good NFL QB but he gives me reasons to believe he just might be the answer for Tennessee long term. Other than Kendall Wright at WR, only Delanie Walker, DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry (rookie RB from Alabama), the Titans just don’t have an offense to impress me.
DEFENSE- This is the downfall for the Titans, in my opinion. They brought in LB Brian Orakpo from Washington. Ok, Not a big signing. More useful for his leadership and experience. Perrish Cox is their best corner back. That’s about all that impresses me.
FINAL SUMMARY- Tennessee seems headed in the right direction offensively with Mariota at QB. I personally would start Henry over Murray, but I understand not wanting to a lot of miles on the young back until they feel their a legit contender. The Titans draw the NFC North, AFC West on top of their own divisional foes.
The Houston Texans-
OFFENSE- I like the WR core of DeAndre Hopkins, Jaelen Strong, Cecil Shorts, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller (Rookie from Ohio State). Lamar Miller Signed with Houston to be their feature back. Pretty good pickup there. But here’s my problem. Houston gave Brock Osweiler a $72M contract with $37M guaranteed. I’m not sold on Osweiler but I may be wrong on him.
DEFENSE- J.J. Watt is one of the best defensively players in the league. He can even help a little on offense. Jadeveon Clowney may finally get the chance to shine at LB. I think that Quintin Demps, Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph make for a pretty solid secondary.
FINAL SUMMARY- The whole key, in my opinion, is if Brock Osweiler can be a solid QB. There’s a lot of pressure on him, not only because of the contract size that he signed, but with the talent on the team. Between their own division, the NFC North and AFC West, this will be an interesting year for Texans fans.
The Indianapolis Colts-
OFFENSE- Andrew Luck can be one of the best quarterback’s when healthy. Luck has a good receiving core around him with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. I think the Colts could use an upgrade at running back since Frank Gore is past his prime.
DEFENSE- I’m not exactly impressed with the Colts defense. Robert Mathis is past his prime. I do like Mike Adams at the safety position and Vontae Davis is good at the corner spot.
FINAL SUMMARY- Although Houston looks to have more talent on paper, the Colts have the better QB in Andrew Luck. Plus Indianapolis has a slightly easier schedule in 2016 then the Texans do.
AFC SOUTH WINNER-
The Jacksonville Jaguars-
OFFENSE- I consider Blake Bortles an up and coming quarterback in the NFL. The front office has done a good job in surrounding him with talent both at WR and at RB. First there’s Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee at wide receiver. Marcedes Lewis at tight end. Chris Ivory has been a consistently good running back. TJ Yeldon will be their change of pace back.
DEFENSE- Jacksonville brought in Malik Jackson in from Denver. Dante Fowler and Jared Odrick will bring pressure from the edges. The secondary features Tashaun Gipson, after Cleveland didn’t resign him, plus Jalsen Ramsey (Rookie from Florida St). Myles Jack (Rookie LB from UCLA), who is playing some weakside linebacker now.
FINAL SUMMARY- The Jacksonville Jaguars have been drafting very well lately and it’s starting to show on the field. This past draft, in my opinion, earns them the AFC South division.
FINAL AFC SOUTH SUMMARY- Tennessee still has some rebuilding to do. Houston is a tricky team because I’m not sure about how well Brock Osweiler will play. The Colts don’t have much of a defense but again, they have a healthy Andrew Luck. The Jaguars have talent in a lot of places, plus the talent is young.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis