By Vincent Pensabene
This is the most interesting division in the AFC with all the question marks surrounding it. Did Jalen Ramsey chew more than he can swallow by calling out basically every NFL player? Will DeShaun Watson and Andrew Luck return to form for their teams? Can Tennessee capture lightning in a bottle twice and return to the playoffs?
Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
The Jaguars made a step last season going all the way to the AFC Championship Game. I haven’t been too keen on Blake Bortles throughout his career. However, I can’t ignore he has played all 16 games the past three seasons and lowered his interception total in each season. Sacksonville will be able to hold this team together and I am a fan of Jalen Ramsey calling out receivers and quarterbacks so they will target him more often. AJ Bouye is a great compliment of Ramsey and take away opposing quarterback’s ability to throw the ball on them. They are a few pieces away but definitely opened my eyes with their play last year.
Houston Texans (9-7)
DeShaun Watson made me a believer in his play in the short time of his rookie season. Also, the return of JJ Watt will be very impactful for the defense. The team went 1-7 on the road last season and that will only get better with stable quarterback play and a better defensive front for an entire season. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller are a good combination at wideout. I also like Jadeveon Clowney after his first few years in the season and Tyrann Mathieu will have a decent year as well.
Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Last year, the Titans took a big step forward. However, in an offensive league you need a great quarterback and I don’t believe in Marcus Mariota as much as others. I like Derrick Henry to get a lot of yardage and the team was first in rushing offense during the preseason. Delanie Walker is one of the better tight ends in the game but I think the team took advantage of a weaker schedule last season with the Texans and Colts not having quarterbacks.
Indianapolis Colts (6-10)
Welcome back Andrew Luck, NFL faithful has missed you! It’s a shame what the Colts management has done to Luck by not getting him protection to begin his NFL career. He hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2016 and has the talent to be a top quarterback in this league. The offensive line is still not great and no running game to keep a defense off balance. It also would be ridiculous to expect Luck to go back to throwing 30+ touchdowns after a full year out of the league. Their defense isn’t threatening either. Expect Luck to T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron a decent amount to get some third down offense and points, but nothing too crazy from a team that can’t get protection for their star quarterback.