Competition in the AFC South
After a poor showing in 2015 and 2016 by the AFC South, the division came alive last season. Now home to arguably two of the most talented teams in the league, the Colts will have an increased level of competition this season.
First off, there is Blake Bortles and the Jaguars who stampeded their way to the AFC title game in 2017.
The Jaguars put together one of the most dominant defensive seasons to date, allowing a league-best 169.9 yards per game through the air with 21 interceptions.
Cornerbacks A.J Bouye and Jalen Ramsey gave offensive coordinators headaches on the outside all of last season. The defense was complimented by an improved offense, led by Bortles under center.
The Jags are returning a dyanmic backfield with power back Leonard Fournette, and dual threat TJ Yeldon. Not to mention a receiving corps stocked with talent from former Colt Donte Moncrief and rookie speedster DJ Chark.
Then there is the Tennesee Titans, who finished 9-7 in 2017 with an early exit on Wild Card weekend last postseason. Fourth year quarterback Marcus Mariota will be back and ready to make another postseason run with offseason additions Dion Lewis and Michael Campanaro. The Music City boys will also have an improved defense with the addition of Malcolm Butler at cornerback.
The Titans will have to adjust to new head coach Mike Vrabel, but that should not be too much of an issue considering the talented roster general manager Jon Robinson has built in just two short years.
Finally there are the Houston Texans, who finished at the bottom of the division at 4-12 last season.
That record does not take into account the impressive performances put together by rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson was the star for coach Bill O’Brien, who put his rookie quarterback in after one half of miserable football by Tom Savage.
Watson led the team to a 3-3 record in his starts, but was then shelved for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL suffered in practice. The Texans also lost All-pro JJ Watt for the season to a leg injury in week five.
The Texans are in the midst of their own rebuild, but with a roster filled with electric players such as Watson, Watt and receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans could make some noise in the division.