AFC South Preview

Story posted September 7, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Evan Popalis

A revamped AFC South will provide an interesting layout for the 2021 NFL season.

Big names have joined the division in pursuit of clinching a berth to the playoffs with the opportunity to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February. Let’s take a look at the AFC South division and preview each team’s season.

Indianapolis Colts

One of the three teams in the division to embark on a new journey at quarterback, the Colts traded for former Philadelphia Eagle, Carson Wentz. Wentz went through significant turmoil during his time in Philadelphia, but now he is reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Frank Reich. Reich is the head coach of the Colts and used to be the play-caller for Philadelphia during Wentz’s MVP caliber season.

Indianapolis has a top-five roster in the league. The Colts present a high-caliber offensive line, along with a defense that is entirely capable of shutting teams down, especially in the run game.

The Colts and Titans will be in a dog fight throughout the season trying to assert themselves atop of the division. The bad news for this division, it squares up against the NFC West four times in 2021. The best roster and coach in the division will prevail, and those amenities reside in Indianapolis.

Record: 11-6

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still a great team; however, the loss of their offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is a bigger deal than people realize. But the addition of Julio Jones certainly does not hurt them.

The defense is the real issue for Tennessee. All of last season, the Titans could not generate a pass rush. The lack of defensive front pressure will overload the secondary responsibility-wise, and that unit is not elite enough to shut down the opposition.

Tennessee seems to be a team that will find itself in multiple shootouts this season, and typically, that does not play well into quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s hand. Nothing against Tannehill, because he is a quality passer in the NFL.

Record: 10-7

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars will be one of the most entertaining teams to keep eyes on this year, but they are not going to have a winning season. Selecting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall selection in the draft was a complete no-brainer, yet he will lead the charge for a team that only managed a single victory a year ago with a new head coach that has never led an NFL franchise.

Jacksonville’s other first-round pick, Travis Etienne, will miss the entire season following a foot injury he sustained during the preseason. New head coach Urban Meyer can work at the helm of the Jags, however building a winning culture does not occur at the snap of a finger, sadly.

Give the Jaguars some time, and in a couple of years, this team could potentially be dangerous. For now, they are entertaining, and will be multiple games under .500.

Prediction: 6-11

Houston Texans

There were minimal good aspects to the Texans offseason. The biggest story revolving around the team is the scenario surrounding Deshaun Watson involving sexual assault claims.

Houston introduced Nick Caserio as its new general manager, plus David Culley at the head coach position. Those gentlemen have a ton on their plate at the moment. Caserio is looking to find a suitable trade destination for Watson, while Culley needs to dial the team in to be competitive.

It would not be shocking to see Houston have the first overall pick in the 2022 Draft. This is going to be a brutal season for the Texans. Strap in, Houston fans, you are in for a lengthy rebuild.

Record: 1-16


Evan Popalis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com.

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).