2019 AFC South Divisional Futures Predictions
After Andrew Luck abruptly decided to walk away from football, the AFC South became the most exciting division in the NFL. Is there a potential Super Bowl Champion in any of the teams in it? Probability not. But every single franchise has juicy odds worth exploring.
Since the Indianapolis Colts reached the divisional weekend in the playoffs, there is a misconception about what happened last season.
What Happened Last Season?
The confusion came when it was the Houston Texans winning the AFC South. However, the Colts entered the postseason as a wildcard team and eliminated Houston in the wildcard round.
For the past ten years, the division title has been between the Colts and the Texans. Houston has been an AFC Champ five times and Indy four.
While Jacksonville earned the divisional banner in 2017 after an unexpected run, The Tennessee Titans are the only team missing from the last ten years.
Odds To Win AFC South 2019
Houston Texans +110
The Texans were favorites to win the division even when Andrew Luck was with the Colts. Their job got a lot easier this season now than Indy lost its big star forever.
Houston has the best quarterback in the division in Deshaun Watson, and that alone should be a good enough reason to take them to win the AFC South. Houston will have a good defense, yet not great. It lost a couple of great players in S Tyrann Mathieu and CB Kareem Jackson.
The team has no clue if DE Jadeveon Clowney will play for them this season. Even without those players, the Texans, the Texans have a great defensive unit to aim for the divisional title.
Jacksonville Jaguars +250 – Bet On The Jaguars
The Jags are a fascinating team, but I’m not sure if it is for the right reasons. Jacksonville made it to the AFC Championship games two years, to have a horrible season in 2018.
What Jaguars team are we going to see in 2019? Jacksonville added Super Bowl champion Nick Foles to upgrade the quarterback position.
Foles is viewed differently now. He’s no longer a backup quarterback trying to find a place in the league. Nick is a Super Bowl champion who has proven to be clutch in the past two seasons. His addition makes the Jags so much better in 2019.
Tennessee Titans +350
The Tennessee Titans must be the least talked about team in the NFL. However, they have one of the most exciting rosters in the league. Don’t get me wrong, there are no superstars on this squad, but they do have a bunch of good players.
We seem to forget they finished the season 9-7 in 2018 and had a chance to advance to the playoffs in last game of the regular season. If not for Marcus Mariota’s injury, they could have clinched a playoffs berth for the second year in a row.
Indianapolis Colts +500
The Colts were favorites just days ago before Andrew Luck decided to nuke their season with the retirement announcement. Indianapolis will enter the season with QB Jacoby Brissett under center.
Going from Luck to Brissett is a significant drop in talent, but it doesn’t mean they can’t win a few games here and there. Indianapolis has a solid and very young team on both sides of the ball.
They will be a lot harder to beat than most people think. I’m just not sure they are worth taking a bet to win the division.
2019 NFL AFC South Divisional Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars +250
The arrival of QB Nick Foles is a big deal for Jacksonville. Now the offensive coordinator John DeFilippo doesn’t have to babysit the quarterback. Those days playing scared football with Blake Bortles under center are over.
Doug Marrone is an offensive-minded coach who hasn’t been able to develop the offense he wanted. With Foles under center, the playbook for the Jags will be wide open. The team added WR Terrelle Pryor and Chris Conley to help Nick get a boost passing the football.
It also helps that tailback Leonard Fournette is back to being healthy and ready to go. Fournette recorded 1040 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games on his rookie season.
During 2019 he only played eight games and didn’t even reach 500 rushing yards. A healthy Fournette changes the entire complexity of the Jags offense.
The Jaguars Defense
The best unit for Jacksonville remains the defense. Even with all the problems they had last season, the Jaguars had the fifth-best total defense in the NFL and fourth-best scoring defense.
To an already loaded defense, the Jaguars added LB Josh Allen, who fell from the sky with the 7th pick in the draft. Allen is a monster, who joins Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus and Yannick Ngakoue in a loaded pass-rushing unit. I haven’t even mentioned Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye as one of the most prolific pair of cornerbacks in the league.
The Jaguars took a step back last season, and it was mostly because their offense never got going. At +250 to win the AFC South is all about the defense and what Nick Foles can do on the other side.
Houston, Tennessee, and Indianapolis will be worthy challengers, but all three have at least one suspect unit. The Texans lost major talent on defense, and their offensive line remains a question. QB Deshaun Watson was the most hit quarterback in the league a year ago.
What About The Texans?
The Texans also lost RB Lamar Miller days before the start of the season. If the offensive line is weak again, who is going to carry the football to give Watson a break? It just looks like a bad combination.
Tennessee has a great offensive line and some talent in the attack with the due between Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis running the ball. They are thrilled to have back TE Delanie Walker, who is underrated at his position.
But the Titans have a question mark in the quarterback position. Is Marcus Mariota the right guy to lead this offense? Will Ryan Tannehill take over at some point? It’s too big of a doubt.
Same goes with Indy. Jacoby Brissett will have to transform himself into a baller to have a chance at the division; this is Jaguars territory from now on.
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