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Can the prince control his kingdom? AFC South Predictions

by Jamal Harris
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Last season there was a new king or prince for the matter on top of the AFC South. The Jaguars had a furious second half rally to the season along with the Titans having an epic second half collapse leading to the Jaguars taking the AFC South crown and wearing it proudly; coming all the way back from 27 points down to beat the Chargers in the Wildcard round, and giving the Chiefs all they could handle in the divisional round before eventually falling to them in defeat. Will Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars continue their upward trajectory or do the Titans have one more run in them?

1- Jacksonville Jaguars- 12-5, Losses: @Bills, @Texans, vs Bengals, @Browns, @Titans

The Jacksonville Jaguars with once in a generation quarterback prospect, prince who was promised Trevor Lawrence finally put it all together having a exceptional sophomore year throwing for just over 4,000 yards to go along with 25 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. I see no reason to why he won’t continue to progress upward. The hiring of former Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson provided stability to not only him and the offense, but the entire team in general. The defense took a big step foward ranking 12th overall and 6th in total takeaways. The Jaguars will benefit mightily from a weak division and playing the NFC South. My only reservations for this team would be their offensive line and the wide receiver room. Can Calvin Ridely be that bonafide number 1 target after being suspended a year? This team will be just as good as any AFC team and will be in Superbowl contention discussions all year.

2. Tennessee Titans- 11-6, Losses: Vs Chargers, Vs Bengals, Vs Ravens, Vs Falcons, @Steelers, @Jaguars

All good things must come to an end and the end is here for the Titans. A team riddled now with aging players and bad contracts, it’s time for the Titans to go into a rebuild. For better or worse however with Mike Vrabel at the helm that is not thing Titans will not come to accustom to. The injuries started taking their tolls back in the 2021 NFL season and Vrabel was still able to lead his team to the conference’s number 1 overall seed. The past year they got off to a 7-3 start but the injuries were to much to overcome and they fell to Jacksonville. Their draft was a snoozer with the only highlight getting quarterback Will Levis in round 2. This is a team that his weaknesses all round asides running back, safety and defensive line, still Mike Vrabel and co will find away to get it down and I’ll think they will be a double digit win team this year.

3. Indianapolis Colts- 4-13, Losses: vs Jaguars, @Ravens, vs Rams, vs Titans, @Jaguars, vs Browns, @Panthers, @Patriots, @Titans, @Bengals, vs Steelers, vs Raiders, vs Texans

The Colts have entered full rebuild mode, drafting a very raw but an absolute physical specimen in Anthony Richardson out of Florida. With a very uninspiring 53% completion percentage go along with a little over 2,500 yards and 17 touchdowns to 9 interceptions; former Eagles offensive coordinator turned Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen will have his hands full trying to develop Richardson not just until and NFL caliber quarterback, but an elite one at that. The Colts hope to return one of the leagues most electrifying players in running back Jonathan Taylor to go along with offensive playmaker Michael Pittman Jr. With an aging offensive line and at best “average defense” colts will struggle this year, especially playing the gauntlet that is the AFC North.

4. Houston Texans- 3-14, Losses: @Ravens, vs Colts, @Jaguars, vs Steelers, @Falcons, vs Saints, @Panthers, vs Bucs, vs Bengals, vs Broncos, @Jets, @Titans, vs Browns, vs Titans

Surely not the most impressive records in the world but the Texans have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to win/loss rate for this year. This year is all about the development of the 2nd overall pick quarterback CJ Stroud. With hopes of rebuilding the team with the departure of former quarterback Deshaun Watson, QB CJ Stroud and 5th overall pick the Alabama defensive end Will Anderson Jr. will headline the rebuild. This also the year to see if formers 49ers defensive coordinator now 1st time head coach can guide a team through a assumed to be difficult 1st year. The have nice veteran pieces in defensive end Jerry Hughes and guard Shaq Mason. Still the teams is massively undertalented especially when compared to other teams in the AFC and it will be an all year struggle for them to string together wins.

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