NFL 2020: AFC South Preview & Predictions
The 2020 NFL season gets underway on September 10 with a host of teams in with a genuine chance of progressing to the Super Bowl.
AFC South could well be a division worth keeping an eye on, with two of its four teams prominent in the betting to win the AFC Conference title.
Indianapolis Colts are currently rated as joint-third favourites in that particular market, although they will have to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 campaign.
Read on as we assess the quartet of teams in AFC South and predict who we think are the most likely contenders for silverware.
The Texans have won AFC South in four of the last five seasons, but they could find it difficult to achieve the feat this time around.
The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Texans, with six of their 16 regular season fixtures coming against teams who qualified for the play-offs last term.
DeAndre Hopkins’ departure to the Arizona Cardinals weakens their offense and piles more pressure on star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The signing of running back David Johnson does provide the Texans with a different option, but they are unlikely to progress beyond the Wild Card round.
The Titans defied expectations last season by qualifying for the Conference championship game, but they ultimately came up short against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first half of the season will be crucial to the Titans’ hopes of reaching the play-offs, with five of their first eight games scheduled at home.
Things get tougher thereafter, with a trio of divisional road games mixed in with trips to Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers.
Although the Titans have a talented roster, their difficult regular season schedule could see them struggle to book a place in the play-offs.
After missing out on the play-offs in four of the last five seasons, the Colts will be eager to prove they deserve their status as favourites to win AFC South.
The acquisition of Philip Rivers on a $25 million deal is an exciting one for the Colts, with the 38-year-old still ranked as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
The schedule has been kind to the Colts, with the first eight weeks pitching them against just one team who posted a winning record last term.
Games against Baltimore, Green Bay, Tennessee and Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half of the campaign are tougher, but the Colts look capable of being top dog in AFC South this season.
It has been a tough couple of years for the Jaguars, with the franchise recording just 11 victories in 32 regular season outings.
First-round draft picks K’Lavon Chaisson and CJ Henderson look to be promising additions and should help the Jaguars win more games this year.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew will also be eager to shine after producing some impressive performances during his rookie season.
The Jaguars are probably a couple of years away from becoming play-off contenders, but they should improve enough to post close to an even record.
AFC South Prediction: Rivers’ arrival in Indianapolis should see them emerge as the divisional winners. The Texans are expected to qualify for the play-offs alongside them, while the Titans and Jaguars will hope to be competitive.