NFL Division Preview: The AFC South

The Calendar has turned to July, which means the 2024-2025 NFL season is about to ramp up and teams will be reporting to training camp in the coming weeks. But before we see all 32 teams get back on the gridiron. Check out my last article where I previewed the AFC West (NFL Division Preview: The AFC West). The next preview will be on the AFC South. The teams in the AFC South consist of the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans.

In the AFC South, we have a division where all 4 teams can make a run at the division title in 2024. The Houston Texans was the division winner in 2023, finishing the season 10-7. Also surprising the entire NFL after having the number 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The early 2023 Division winner was the Jacksonville Jaguars who laid an egg late in the season and finishing the season 9-8, missing out on the playoffs entirely.

As mentioned above, the Houston Texans won the AFC South in 2023 with an impressive showing last season with two of the biggest additions in the NFL last season. Drafting CJ Stroud #1 overall and hiring DeMeco Ryans as their head coach. The Texans has a lot of firepower in their offense that they can build off of in 2024, trading for Stefon Diggs during the offseason. Houston has a strong case to make for repeating as AFC South if they can stay healthy as they did in 2023. CJ Stroud is going to have to continue to grow during training camp with his receivers to have the Houston Texans back in the driver seat. In 2024, the Texans will play a 1st place schedule. Some notable teams that they will play in 2024 are Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Detriot Lions, Dallas Cowboys and a rematch of the AFC Division round matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas afternoon. If they can win the games they are supposed to win then win a few of those key games then I don’t see why the Houston Texans can’t repeat as AFC South Champs.

Next we have the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jaguars are a team coming into 2024 with hopes of not repeating history again as they blew away a huge division lead late last season. Finishing the season 9-8. The 2024 season is going to reflect on the health of their quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars quarterback in 2024 is going have to learn to protect himself from big hits and making the plays when they are there. The defense for the Jags is there but Trevor Lawrence was drafted first overall by Jacksonville because he proved at Clemson that he can win in high leverage moments. If Trevor Lawrence can improve from last season and turn the corner. The Jaguars can get back on top of the AFC South in 2024.

The Indianapolis Colts come into 2024 with their Franchise quarterback Anthony Richardson back in the fold. Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending Shoulder injury which he had to get surgery. The Colts front office did do him a favor in resigning on their top targets in Michael Pittman Jr. That can go a long way in the development of Anthony Richardson. The Colts should try not put Richardson in a lot of bad situations especially early in the season because he will be still trying to learn the game since it is early in the season. Another thing the Colts can look to do to help them towards a division title is to use Johnathan Taylor, who rushed for a career low of 741 yards. But however Taylor proved he can carry the load and lead a team on his back. So for the Colts to win the division, they will HAVE to do 2 things: Rely on the run game and play good defense all season because this division is a toss-up division.

The Tennessee Titans are in rebuild mode starting this upcoming 2024 season. They finished the season 6-11, last in the AFC South. The Titans this offseason lost running back Derrick Henry (signed with Baltimore Ravens), Azeez Al-Shaair (signed with Houston Texans) and their quarterback Ryan Tannehill (Free Agency). But the Titans did pick up some good young talent to help them coast into the rebuild in 2024 with Wide Receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd. Two reliable pass catchers who can really help with the development of Will Levis who I assume will be the starting quarterback for the Titans in 2024. The defense for the Titans will always be there in Tennessee DNA because Mike Vrabel style. Nothing much for the Titans in 2024 but to just develop Will Levis with this receiver core and build confidence going into 2025.  

In conclusion, the AFC South division in 2024 will be highly contested and fun to watch during the season. But the question will remain for all 4 teams. Is the winner of the AFC South worthy of a top 3 seed in the brutal AFC?

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