AFC South As Tight As Ever -- Who Wins It?

The NFL has started off with some upsets and huge performances on the pitch, and while after just a few games the divisional standings are mostly quite tight, one division looks to be quite hotly contested all season.

The AFC South saw the Houston Texans beat the Tennessee Titans to the divisional crown last season by virtue of their superior divisional record – both teams finishing the season with a 9-7 record. Coming into this 2017 season, the bookies struggled to split the teams as the season approached, putting the Titans, Texans, and Indianapolis Colts on very similar odds to win the AFC South.

So, let’s take a look at the four residents of the AFC South, and see who’s best equipped to win the division and claim their place in the playoffs.


Houston Texans

Starting with last year’s divisional champions, the Texans are battling hard, while their new quarterback, DeShaun Watson, settles in as the team’s starter. The return of superstar J.J. Watt was, obviously, a huge boost to a team that will be relying on its mighty defense more than ever, due to having a rookie quarterback. But, even with the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end back, the Texans will need more from their offense if they hope to compete with a certain divisional opponent.

Tennessee Titans

Last year’s runners-up have developed as many expected, quickly on their way to becoming one of the most feared teams in the NFL. They’re not there yet, but they sure are showing up their divisional rivals. The Titans had somewhat of a bumpy start against fellow upstarts in the Oakland Raiders, but then stellar offensive displays look to have the team from Tennessee back on track.

DeMarco Murray is putting up good numbers while playing through a hamstring injury, backup running back Derrick Henry looking like a worthy and monstrous call-up if Murray should go down, the passing game is working with fluidity, and the defense is looking decent overall. As a a result, the Titans are poised to claim the AFC South crown this season, with their latest odds on bet365 at -110 to win the division.

Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts suffered a huge setback when they learned that they’d be without quarterback Andrew Luck for the start of the season. While Jacoby Brissett has performed to the best that his situation allows, he’s no Luck. Nevertheless, behind such a poor offensive line, the slick-footed Brissett will be able to make big plays under center until Luck’s return – which could be as soon as Week 6. Even with Luck back, however, the defense, offensive line, and running game simply aren't strong enough for them to challenge the Titans for the AFC South.

Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s hard to say how well this Jacksonville Jaguars team will do this season. They have a plethora of top young talents on defense as well as a franchise-worthy running back in Leonard Fournette, but the ability of quarterback Blake Bortles as well as his receiving crops without Allen Robinson – who is out for the season with a torn ACL – has been brought into question often. The Jags could pop up more surprises down the line as they did at Wembley against a Baltimore Ravens team that looked strong before the Week 3 match-up, but likely won’t be able to challenge the Titans over the season seriously.

It’s still a very close division, but thus far, the AFC South looks to be the Tennessee Titans’ for the taking. Then again, you never know in the NFL, as anything can happen!

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