AFC South Preview
Rebuilds and retooling is the name of the game for the AFC South. Last year was somewhat surprising with the Indianapolis Colts returning to compete for the division. What can we expect with the likely Rookie of the Year coming into the division? Get all of your NFL future picks from BTB and BTBJesse when you sign up for the NFL package.
Last year: 11-5, first in the division
The Titans made arguably the biggest splash of the offseason with the acquisition of one of the top three (when healthy) wide receivers in football, Julio Jones. How much gas Jones has left in the tank, and how healthy he is this season will dictate just how good this trade was for the Titans. Derrick Henry is arguably the best running back in football – at the very least he is one of the most utilized. Gaining over 2,000 yards, Henry was a beast last season. In my opinion, there isn’t a team that is on the Titans level offensively. Their biggest problem last season was that the Titans seemingly played only half of the game. Often either falling apart late or struggling in the beginning of the game. However, at a -105 favorite I think there is a lot of value in them to win the division. The win total of 9 also should be covered, but at -150, it is too much juice for me.
Last year: 11-5, second in the division
Who will QB for the Colts this season? The defensive presence for the Colts could potentially hold them down. Last season their defense was 11
in points allowed and 8 overall in yards allowed. If they can take another step forward they may be able to make up whatever shortfall comes from the offensive side of the ball. Carson Wentz, in my opinion, is still quite a question mark. He has had a unique career – good rookie year, injured during the Super Bowl run, given a massive contract, traded away only a couple years after he was rewarded for potential. Wentz still has TY Hilton to throw to, but the guy is getting up there in age and would probably be better suited as a number two receiver instead of the primary receiver he was in his prime. They also have a win total of 9 for the season, I can’t touch it without knowing who is calling their games. I think their defense could be good enough to carry them to seven victories. Will their QB be good enough to get them another one or two?
Last year: 4-12, third in division
For the last few seasons, this team has rubbed me the wrong way. Alright, maybe that’s a cheap shot at Deshaun Watson, but still they have made some dumb moves and seemingly are going the wrong direction for a team that had promise with a young, athletic, well-liked quarterback. In any case, Tyrod Taylor to the rescue, right? Well, not quite. Taylor is a serviceable quarterback, but there is a reason he is on his third team in three seasons (I get it, last year wasn’t his fault). Will their JJ Watt-less defense improve or will it struggle? Will the core of Taylor, Ingram, and Cooks be able to put together a competent offense and win some games? Who knows – but with a total of four wins, the team doesn’t have that much hope. I think they should be able to pull out four wins and potentially a fifth looking at their schedule. My lean here would be to the over at -105.
Last year: 1-15, last in division
All eyes are on Trevor Lawrence. Will the long-haired Clemson quarterback’s skillset translate to the pros the way experts think it will? Lawrence is probably the most hyped quarterback since Andrew Luck. In Jacksonville, they really need to rebound quickly. A few years ago they actually made the playoffs and now they are back to the first pick. Once the excitement of Lawrence dies down, do the fans start clamoring for Tim Tebow to take the field? I’d say yes, and there probably is a bet out there somewhere about the number of snaps Tebow takes. I think he will play at home at least one game if just to make a little news and money for the Jags. My bet on Jacksonville is the under on Lawrence’s passing touchdown total 25.5 at -115.
- David Troy
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