AFC South 2021 Predictions


The AFC South will look slightly different this season as the Colts and Jaguars will have a new starting QB. Historically the AFC South has been weak and this season is no different. Can anyone dethrone the heavily favoured Titans? Here is the way I see it going.

Houston Texans

Key Additions

Mark Ingram RB

Phillip Lindsay RB

Key Losses

J.J Watt DE

Will Fuller WR

If I’ve learned anything about the Houston Texans in the last few seasons it’s who the hell would want to play for this franchise? They traded away Deandre Hopkins for next to nothing and also said goodbye to one of the best defensive players of this generation in J.J. Watt. The drama will continue this season as Deshaun Watson is still dealing with his scandal, but that could change by their season opener. Tough times for Texans fans to say the least.

Let's talk about Watson a little more. I can't speak to what's going on off the field, but on the field he is absolutely elite! Without Hopkins he posted a career high in TD's and had a QBR of 112. Not bad. However, it seems like Houston is looking towards a future without Watson, and that future looks bleak. Their receiving core is one of the worst in the league, as is their backfield group. This offence is gonna have a bad time moving the ball this year.

The Texans sucked last year on defence. There, I said it. And without J.J. Watt it doesn't seem like they'll be competent anytime soon. Their secondary needs work, and they don't really have much of a pass rush anymore. In fact I'd say Whitney Mercilus is the only legitimate threat this team has under contract, and really I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't a Texan by seasons end. Yeah, this team could be on the wrong end of a lot of blowouts.

Prediction: (3 W - 14 L) The Texans won't have much to ride home about this season. There'll be some struggles on defence as Lovie Smith tries to rebuild, all while the Deshaun Watson saga continues. The offence could see some sparks but it won't matter.

Indianapolis Colts

Key Additions

Carson Wentz QB

Eric Fisher LT

Key Losses

Philip Rivers QB

Justin Houston LB

Denico Autry DL

The Colts will once again start the 2021 season with a new starting QB. If you’re counting, it’s the third straight year they’ve been in this position, and next year (if Wentz doesn't play week 1) it’ll be the fourth straight year opening the season with a new starting QB. It’s not ideal, but maybe a *healthy* Carson Wentz is their long-term answer to the position. They've managed to stay afloat since Andrew Luck retired, but stability has been their biggest enemy.

Last season, old man Philip Rivers led Indy to a playoff appearance before falling to the Buffalo Bills in a thrilling game. However, Rivers is now coaching high school football and Carson Wentz will hopefully be taking the reins in week 1. The former Eagle fell out of favour in Philly and got shipped out. He lost his starting job to Jalen Hurts late in the season and both parties will be hoping he can regain his once MVP form.

Defensively the Colts were actually pretty good last season. Sure, they've lost guys like Autry and Houston, but with the likes Buckner and Leonard still in their ranks the defence should be solid once again. They gave up 24 TD's which was outside of the 10. Their 15 interceptions on defence was ranked 7th. The Colts run defence might take a little bit of a hit, but their pass defence looks to be stronger with their young cast.

Prediction: (9 W - 8 L) The Colts have a tough stretch the first five weeks of the season, but the later half of their schedule should work in their favour. Wentz's play is the big question mark, but we've seen the Colts get production out of a 39 year old Philip Rivers and win 11 games. They won't reach double digits, but a late run will give them 9 wins on the year in a crappy division. Plus the last spot in the wildcard.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Additions

Trevor Lawrence QB

Malcolm Brown DT

Shaquill Griffin CB

Key Losses

Gardiner Minshew

Joe Schobert LB

The Jaguars were a dumpster fire last season but hey it's a new season with a rookie QB and a rookie NFL coach. The Jaguars were next to last in pretty much every passing category that’s recorded. When you have to start three different QB's and have just one win to show for it you know it was a rough year. But like I said, 2021 is a new for the Jags, and it's possible they take big steps in the right direction.

Trevor Lawrence looked good in preseason, really good. More importantly he seemed confident with the ball in his hands and that should inspire his teammates. There'll be some ups and downs in his rookie season, but I doubt he looks anything worse than competent. James Robinson looked good in the Jags back field last season, and with Travis Etienne out for the season they’ll have to lean on him in the running game. He should be in-line for a big year.

The Jags D was bad last year. Like BAD bad. They had issues stopping the run, they couldn't stop teams from chucking around the yard on them, and they were pretty meh special teams wise as well. You put all those things together you have a one win season. To remedy these issues they went out brought in Shaquill Griffin, Malcolm Brown and drafted Tyson Campbell. They should be better this year, although they can't get much worse.

Prediction: (5 W - 12 L) The Jags will improve in the win column. They are a work in progress on both sides of the ball, and while I normally don't care about the Jaguars having Trevor Lawrence will make them fun to watch. The good news Jacksonville they won't finish dead last.

Tennessee Titans

Key Additions

Julio Jones WR

Bud Dupree LB

Denico Autry DL

Key Losses

Corey Davis WR

Jonnu Smith TE

Adoree Jackson CB

The Titans steam rolled over everyone in the AFC South last year to win the division title. Their offence improved leaps and bounds, and Mike Vrabel has converted the Titans from a team of mediocrity to one of the best teams in the AFC. They are consistent, they don't make mistakes, and are grind you into the ground. They are truly a throwback squad. With that said, the expectations are mounting for this team, and for good reason.

Tannehill has turned his career around since joining the Titans. I know that's not a new revelation, but the guy has been one of the most efficient QB's in the league since joining Vrabel's squad. Sure, they lost Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis, buuuuut they picked up this generation's best wideout in Julio Jones. Jones should still be a high level player, and the pressure on him should be minimal considering Derrick Henry is a world eater.

Admittedly, the Titans defence is what's holding them back from being a true Super Bowl contender. They essentially had zero pass rush last year and just couldn't get teams off the field when they needed to. However, they lured away from Denico Autry from the Colts and picked up Bud Dupree. At the very least they should go from terrible to okay in the pass rush department. Realistically, that may be all they need to get to the next level.

Prediction: (11W-6L) The Titans had a busy off-season and judging by the moves they made, they will look to make a championship run. This was an easy pick, Tennessee should easily take home the AFC South crown.


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