We’re just over a month away from kickoff to the 2020 NFL Regular Season.
And today as part of our prediction series here, we take a look at the AFC South division.
This division could surprise some people with the way everything has went for them last year. However, it looks like it could shape up to a great race for the division this season.
Houston’s 2020 offseason can be summed in only two words: baffling and questionable.
Many fans are asking why did head coach and de facto general manager Bill O’Brien trade away All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in exchange for running back David Johnson and are still bitter about giving up the big lead in the playoffs back in January.
The Texans do have a team to contend in the division and conference, but it is becoming hard for fans to trust O’Brien after his high risk, high reward moves.
With quarterback Deshaun Watson bound to take another big leap this year, it may have to come down to whether if those did pay off. If not, it may blow itself up spectacularly and O’Brien could lose his job.
There is going to be some big prayers down in Houston, let’s hope they reach their ceiling.
A new sheriff emerges in Indianapolis, and it’s an intriguing name. His name is Philip Rivers.
After 16 long seasons donning the Chargers’ blue, white and gold, Rivers comes to Indy with a chance to make a deep playoff run.
Even though he is on a one-year, $25 million deal, the 38-year-old has a few weapons to help him out on offense in wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, running back Marlon Mack, and a stout offensive line.
Along with an underrated defense, Indy can make some good noise in the AFC this year. If they plan on attempting to get Rivers to a Super Bowl, both sides need to work and produce together and hope that their opponents do the opposite. It’s going to be an interesting year for them.
In 2017, they were almost one of the best of the league. Fast forward to 2020, the Jacksonville Jaguars basically hit rock bottom.
Even with Gardner Minshew now at starting quarterback, the Jaguars are expecting to struggle mightily this season.
Entering his second season, Minshew is expected to lead an offense that includes emerging wide receivers in Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and D.J. Chark Jr. Despite big trade rumors, running back Leonard Fournette is also expected to be back as well.
As for defense, only two players are still left from the 2017 roster: linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end Yannick Ngaukoe. Ngaukoe has been upset with management all offseason and is awaiting a new, big contract; but he has been feuding with most of Khan family about it too.
In any outcome, hopefully this dispute will be put to rest as soon as the season begins. But be prepared Jaguars fans, it will be a long season in Duval County.
The award for biggest surprise of the 2019 season goes to the AFC runners-up, the Tennessee Titans.
After creating two upsets in the playoffs last year before bowing out to the eventual Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs, the Titans seem determined to go in a more stronger run next year. And they shown it by signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an extension and keeping running back Derrick Henry on the franchise tag.
They also added some youth by drafting Alabama offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and highly-touted LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton.
Tennessee may seem average on paper, but lesson shows that we can’t judge some teams based on their record. Yes, they went 9-7 last season, but in the playoffs, they played like they were 13-3.
The momentum should still be strong for the Titans’ 2020 season, but hopefully the team and head coach Mike Vrabel keep the mindset going on, and maybe we’ll see another Super Bowl appearance from them.
And now here is the season projection prediction:
- 1) Tennessee Titans 11-5**
- 2) Indianapolis Colts 9-7*
- 3) Houston Texans 7-9
- 4) Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12
This division is going to be the most interesting out of all the AFC divisions this year. However, we feel that Tennessee will carry their momentum to their first division title since 2008.
The Colts will barely make the playoffs via a 9-7 record, and Houston will struggle after the recent offseason moves from O’Brien and they fall to 7-9.