Jacksonville Jaguars have ferocious bite while Houston Texans boast potential in AFC South preview

Jay Asser 03:27 06/09/2018
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After years of being the weakest division in football, the AFC South has slowly morphed into one of the more competitive areas in the league.

All four teams have a chance to reach the playoffs – a notion that would have been laughable as recent as three years ago.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, as one-sided as they are, are legitimate threats to get back to the AFC Championship Game, while the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts have their star quarterbacks back and healthy.

A regime change in Tennessee could give the Titans the jolt they need to find their stride.

Learn more about the four teams with our AFC South team guides.


Head coach: Bill O’Brien

Star player: J.J. Watt

Last season: 4-12

Key ins: Tyrann Mathieu (Arizona), Aaron Colvin (Jacksonville), Zach Fulton (Kansas City), Senio Kelemete (New Orleans), Kayvon Webster (LA Rams), Justin Reid (rookie), Martinas Rankin (rookie), Jordan Akins (rookie)

Key outs: Brian Cushing (free agent), Xavier Su’a-Filo (free agent)

Strengths: If Watt can return to something of his old self, their front seven will wreak chaos.

Weaknesses: Allowed the second-most sacks in the league last year (54) and offensive line hasn’t improved much.

Verdict: Deshaun Watson, when he’s upright, makes them an intriguing playoff contender.



Head coach: Frank Reich

Star player: Andrew Luck

Last season: 13-3

Key ins: Luck (injury), Ryan Kelly (injury) Eric Ebron (Detroit), Matt Slauson (LA Chargers), Ryan Grant (Washington), Najee Goode (Philadelphia), Quenton Nelson (rookie), Braden Smith (rookie), Jordan Wilkins (rookie)

Key outs: Jon Bostic (Pittsburgh), Frank Gore (Miami), Johnathan Hankins (free agent), Donte Moncrief (Jacksonville), Darius Butler (free agent), Rashaan Melvin (Oakland)

Strengths: Interior of offensive line.

Weaknesses: Defence gave up the third-most points in the league last year (25.3).

Verdict: Don’t have enough around Luck to make much noise.



Head coach: Doug Marrone

Star player: Jalen Ramsey

Last season: 10-6, lost in AFC Championship

Key ins: Andrew Norwell (Carolina), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NY Jets), Donte Moncrief (Indianapolis), D.J. Hayden (Detroit), Taven Bryan (rookie), D.J. Chark (rookie)

Key outs: Marqise Lee (injury), Patrick Omameh (NY Giants), Aaron Colvin (Houston), Allen Hurns (Dallas), Chris Ivory (Buffalo), Marcedes Lewis (Green Bay), Allen Robinson (Chicago)

Strengths: Defence is rife with talent, particularly the secondary

Weaknesses: Pass-catchers are maybe the worst in the league.

Verdict: Defence can carry, but unless Blake Bortles takes a step, their ceiling is capped by his limitations.



Head coach: Mike Vrabel

Star player: Jurrell Casey

Last season: 9-7, lost in Divisional Round

Key ins: Malcolm Butler (New England), Dion Lewis (New England), Bennie Logan (Kansas City), Kenny Vaccaro (New Orleans), Will Compton (Washington), Rashaan Evans (rookie), Harold Landry (rookie)

Key outs: Johnathan Cyprien (injury), DeMarco Murray (retired), Avery Williamson (NY Jets), Da’Norris Searcy (Carolina), Erik Walden (Seattle)

Strengths: Run defence is stout as they surrendered fourth-fewest yards on the ground last year (88.8).

Weaknesses: Unproven wideouts.

Verdict: Changes across the coaching staff should help get more out of their collection of talent.

at Lambeau Field on August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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