The AFC South is most wide open. It has been in years in terms of the division winner’s favourite as each of the four teams had wacky off-seasons making their teams worse and not giving themselves a chance at winning the division title. Here are my record predictions, a possible MVP for each team, and a prospect to watch.
The Houston Texans made headlines this off-season when they traded away their star receiver and Deshaun Watson’s favourite target to throw to outside. Getting David Johnson in return wasn’t equal, as he has struggled to produce on the ground. The Texans still have not surrounded Deshaun Watson with the right talent to elevate his game to its reach. I predict that the Texans will just squeak past .500 and make it into the playoffs.
Record Prediction: 10-6
MVP: Deshaun Watson (QB)
Deshaun Watson, the former Clemson product, has shown that he can be a dominant player on the field, which was on display all last season. Watson finished the season with 3852 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while leading the Texans to a 10-5 record. I expect him to finish this season with similar numbers and help propel the Texans to a division title.
Prospect: Ross Blacklock (DT)
Ross Blacklock will be a significant boost for the Texan’s defensive line and pair nicely with J.J. Watt. Blacklock, who last season finished with 25 solo tackles, nine tackles for loss, and three sacks. He will make an immediate impact for the Texans and will be a pro bowl player in the coming years.
The Indianapolis Colts will challenge the Houston Texans for the top spot in the division. With the addition of veteran Phillips Rivers, they are sure to make some noise this season. I expect them to be right in the fight for first place in the division. They have the right pieces and the exemplary leadership to help take them there.
Record Prediction: 9-7
MVP: Marlon Mack (RB)
Marlon Mack is the clear favourite for the team MVP, like last season, he showed why he deserves the starting running back position. As he rushed for over 1000 yards and eight rushing touchdowns, with those numbers, it is clear why he is the team MVP. I expect him to have similar if not more significant numbers this season, now after having almost a full season under his belt.
Prospect: Michael Pittman, Jr. (WR)
Michael Pittman Jr. will be a great addition to the Colts receiving core and immediately impact their offence. Pittman Jr. last season finished with over 1200 yards receiving, 11 touchdown catches and 101 receptions on the year. I expect to continue his dominance in the NFL with a strong rookie campaign, complimenting T.Y Hilton nicely on the other side of the field.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will not have a good season this year, the loss of Lenard Fournette and Gardner Minshew still trying to prove to the Jaguars front office that he is the right man for the job. The Jaguars will find themselves typecast among the other teams within their division and the AFC. I expect them to be near the division and winning no more than four games.
Record Prediction: 4-12
MVP: Chris Conley (WR)
Chris Conley is the clear favourite for team MVP for the Jaguars as he has made the most impact on the team over the past several seasons. Conley, who finished last season with 775 receiving yards, had 47 receptions and five receiving touchdowns. He will need to have similar numbers this season if the Jaguars want to win some games this season because they are not winning more than one game without him.
Prospect: C.J. Henderson (CB)
After being depleted in the cornerback position for a considerable time, the Jaguars made the right choice by selecting C.J. Henderson. Henderson, who last season with 26 solo tackles, tackles for loss, three sacks, and eleven passes defended. Despite not having any interceptions in his final season at Florida, in my eyes, he is still a much-needed pick-up for the Jaguars who desperately needed a cornerback.
The Tennesse Titans will be a sub-par team this season, as they will win a few games and challenge the divisional opponents, but no one else. Despite having Derrick Henry on their team and a strong offensive line. Their defence concerns me that they failed to make stops in big games, which led to the Titans losing games. I expect them to finish third in the division and miss the playoffs.
Record Prediction: 6-10
MVP: Derrick Henry (RB)
There is no other choice for team MVP for the Titans, like last season, Henry put on a highlight reel week after week. He is a dominant force on the field, hard to tackle and never gives up—Henry, who last season finished with over 1500 rushing yards, and sixteen rushing touchdowns. I expect him to have similar numbers this season, which will help the Texans win a couple of games this season.
Prospect: Isaiah Wilson (OT)
The Tennesee Titans made the right choice in drafting Isiah Wilson from Georgia, as he was a dominant player for them last season. Playing in 11 games last season, starting 10 of them. Wilson brings power, and length to the Titans offensive line, standing at 6’7” and weighing in at 350 pounds. I expect him to be a dominant player for the Titans, helping protect Ryan Tannehill.