Shifting our attention from the NFC to the AFC, we take a look at the AFC South before season begins.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars took several blows to the chest this offseason.
DE Yannick Ngakoue was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a second and conditional fifth-round pick earlier today. Ngakoue told the team that he had no intention of staying long-term despite placing a non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
Jacksonville also watched as DE Calais Campbell and CB A.J. Bouye were traded away to the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.
The team also hasn’t recovered since trading two-time Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams last season. The rushing defense is still non-existent and locker room tension rises during the team’s rebuild.
Offensively, QB Gardner Minshew isn’t quite where the Jaguars need him to be. Although players like WR D.J. Chark and RB Leonard Fournette are there to aid Minshew, 2020 will be a make or break year.
On a positive note, the team drafted LB K’Lavon Chaisson of LSU and CB C.J. Henderson of Florida to bring on younger talent.
Jacksonville isn’t at a point where they can be considered contenders.
3. Houston Texans
Elephant in the room; the Texans traded WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for RB David Johnson.
The move doesn’t look great but Houston did gain WR Bradin Cooks in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams. Pair Cooks with WR Randall Cobb, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and the team may just stir up some magic.
You can’t help but feel for QB DeShaun Watson as he tries to hold the offense together.
Texans’ defense also saw questionable moves as DT D.J. Reader moved on to the Cincinati Bengals as an unrestricted free agent. To fill the hole, Houston drafted DL Ross Blacklock of TCU.
This team doesn’t seem to have the talent, or chemistry, to stand out in 2020.
2. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts signed Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers this offseason on a one-year deal.
Rivers, coming off of possibly the worst season of his career, will be providing more experience in the role compared to QB Jacoby Brissett.
WR Michael Pittman of USC was drafted to add on to the WR pool of T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal for Rivers. Players such as Parris Campbell, Devin Funchess and Daurice Fountain look to return to a year without injuries.
The offensive line will also aid in the Colts run this season as it is arguably the best in the league.
Indianapolis took the necessary steps in building up their defense this year. One of the biggest additions comes from CB Xavier Rhodes of the Minnesota Vikings.
Colts also have LB Darius Leonard as he continues to be a playmaker for the team. DT DeForest Buckner of the San Francis co 49ers also adds another layer to the defense.
The 2020 season will largely depend on Rivers and his performance with what is left in the tank.
1. Tennessee Titans
The Titans finished second in the AFC South last season with a 9-7 record before making a run in playoffs. Tennessee defeated the New England Patriots in the Wild Card and Ravens in the Divisional before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Conference Championships.
The team was incentivized to reward QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry after they were recognized as large parts of last season’s success. Tannehill signed a four-year contract extension while the franchise tag was used on Henry.
OT Dennis Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles quickly filled in a gap left by OT Jack Conklin who joins the Cleveland Browns.
Tennessee also drafted OL Isaiah Wilson of Georgia and CB Kristian Fulton of LSU.
In a perfect 2020 world, the Titans will enter with the same level as competition that they ended last season with.
Photo: (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)
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