Anything goes in the AFC South. No team in this division can make up their mind about whether or not they want to be great. The last great team was led by Peyton Manning when the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2007. Since then, each team has won playoff games and there have been a few berths in the AFC Championship game. However, the revolving door of division winners has made for entertaining season after entertaining season.
Last year, Andrew Luck shockingly retired in the preseason and the flood gates were opened again for anything to happen. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry won a Wild Card spot and upset the Patriots and Ravens on their way to the AFC Championship Game. The Texans won the division but were ousted in the second round after losing the Chiefs. The Titans locked up both of those key players heading into next seasons but that was just the beginning of free agency in the AFC South.
Indianapolis Colts – Philip Rivers made the biggest headlines in the AFC South this offseason. The long-time Charger, Rivers will finish up his career in Indianapolis. His career in San Diego and LA was defined by many close calls, if he can the Colts back to the Super Bowl it will erase a career of questions about Rivers in the big game. Getting DeForest Buckner was a big get as well, but Rivers should get the Colts back to an elite passing offense once again. The Colts have been on the brink of a playoff run for years and this signing should give the fans that same excitement heading into the season.
Houston Texans – David Johnson was sent to the Texans in a trade and will be a reliable back-field mate for Deshaun Watson. I know lots of fans are pissed off by giving up DeAndre Hopkins but Johnson is an elite running back (when he can stay on the field) and should make the offense look a lot different than it was. Health is the biggest concern for Johnson. Can he return to form as a top-3 running back in the NFL?
Jacksonville Jaguars – Tight end Tyler Eifert was a pivotal signing for the Jaguars. When healthy, he has shown signs of being considered with top tier tight ends. We’ll see if he can be that caliber in an offense that seems to have lost its identity. Leonard Fournette will need to have a big season at running back and Gardner Minshew might have a new favorite weapon. Eifert could never stay healthy in Cincinnati so they had to let him go.
Tennessee Titans – In an offseason where Tennessee needed to keep their offense intact, getting Vic Beasley on the defensive side of the ball is a move flying under the radar. Adding a veteran edge rusher that specializes in sacks shows that the Titans are not content with just making it to the AFC Championship game. Beasley gets to the quarterback well and will need to do so to stop Philip Rivers and Deshaun Watson (who he will be seeing twice this year.
Any way you slice the AFC South is up for grabs. There was a lot of movement in the division this offseason so the Week 1 matchups are going to be exciting to watch!