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BRB Groupthink: Sizing up the AFC South

The masthead joins together and discusses how they think the AFC South will play out.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL season is coming upon us. Season preview season is here. Football Outsiders Almanacs are being scoured. Fantasy Football draft guides have been published. NFL Game Passes are set to renew. The thing we used to desire more than anything is nearly here.

In honor of the season previews, I asked the masthead who they think will win the AFC South, and how they think it will play out. These are their responses.

MATT WESTON:

My tongue is wet and bloody in my mouth.

BIGFATDRUNK:

Sigh.

For the record, I am only answering this question out of fear that Tim will kidnap my kitten if I do not answer.

4. YOUR HOUSTON TEXANS WHOOOO!!!!!

3. Jacksonville Glitter Kitties

2. Indianapolis Clots

1. BE-SFs

For me, the difference between the Clots and BE-SFs is the quarterback play, and I have absolutely no confidence in Carson Wentz to be effective. That said, it’s not like the BE-SFs don’t have any blemishes on their roster, especially after losing so much talent in the off-season.

Overall, though, there are three teams in the division that are trying to win, and there is one team focused on process and finding “the right kind of player.”

MIKE BULLOCK:

I think the Tennessee Titans have the best coach in the division, Mike Vrabel, with Indianapolis Colts head man Frank Reich a close second. Which means those two are the only threat to any of the AFC powerhouses this season. Jacksonville might surprise folks, but with a new coach, new quarterback and pile of new players and assistant coaches, it’s gonna take a hot minute for them to get it in gear. We all know the Texans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon...

5. Houston Texans

4. Houston Roughnecks

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Indianapolis Colts

1. Tennessee Titans

L4BLITZER:

If you’ll pardon the expression (sort of), the AFC South is a two horse race between Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Titans have the better star power on offense (especially if Julio Jones can play like he did in Atlanta), but I am not sure they have answered their questions about the defense. The Colts have the better depth and respective lines and would probably be my clear-cut money favorite if not for one very, very important question: Can Carson Wentz regain his MVP-like form at QB? If he can play like he did during the Eagles Super Bowl season before his injury, then the AFC South is Indy’s for the taking. If he can’t, then the Titans, led by the new Tennessee Triumvirate (Tannehill, Henry, Jones) will do just enough to win the division. Not sure I can call anyone coming out of the AFC South this season a real Super Bowl contender, but we will have to see how the season plays out. As it stands today, I’ll go with Indy by a coin flip, but the fate of the division will rest on the arm of Wentz.

As for the rest, by default, Jacksonville takes the 3rd slot. How good they will actually be is subject to debate. If Trevor Lawrence can play up to his vast potential and THE Urban Meyer can translate his winning ways to the NFL, then the squad could pleasantly surprise, hanging around .500. They will definitely improve on the 1 win from last season. Of course, there is the requisite off-field personnel drama that tends to follow THE Urban Meyer starting to haunt the organization, so that will bear some attention. Most Texans fans would probably take the situation in Jacksonville over what is going on in Houston. If things somehow break right for the Texans, and things do not progress as expected in Jacksonville, then the fight for 3rd in the AFC South might prove interesting. Otherwise, I haven’t seen anything happen yet to change the assessment that Houston will finish last in the AFC South.

Current projections:

4. Houston Texans

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Tennessee Titans

1. Indianapolis Colts

CARLOS FLORES:

As much as it pains me to say, I still think that the Titans are still division favorites. Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, Julio Jones and Ryan Tannehill are going to come riding in like the four horseman of the apocalypse (Tannehill being the most likely to flake). The division is theirs to lose.

The Colts are set to be the bridesmaids as Carson Wentz has a big ol’ question mark floating above his head in regards to his ability to stay healthy. The Colts’ offensive line is no joke, so a full season of Wentz with time to throw/move might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Jags are going to surprise folks this year. I think they give the Colts a run for their money and even potentially usurp them for the second spot. Trevor Lawrence will catch on to NFL speed quickly as he has the benefit of playing us twice. His play making ability should mask whatever flaws Urban Meyer might have in his transition to the pros (think Watson covering for BOB).

We’re going to live in the cellar and it’s not even remotely a question. This is an observation year. We’ll finally get to see what a David Culley offense looks like. We’ll see what Davis Mills does or doesn’t have. Competition will be on full display. Amen.

4. Houston Texans

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. Indianapolis Colts

1. Tennessee Titans