Playoff picture: AFC South, part two
The Jaguars made a lot of noise in the offseason when they acquired former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Make no mistake about it, Foles is a big upgrade over their former quarterback situation.
They selected former Kentucky standout Josh Allen in the first round of the draft, and he certainly looked the part in the preseason. But their offense still has issues. If (and when) running back Leonard Fournette misses any games this team does not have the depth behind him to withstand it.
Dede Westbrook seems poised for a breakout season but the Jaguars have not given their new franchise quarterback many other weapons beyond him. That being said the defense should get back to their elite form from 2017 and make a 10-win season at least somewhat realistic.
The last team in the south is the Houston Texans, my pick to win the division. They have now lost Jadeveon Clowney, Tyrann Mathieu and Lamar Miller from the team that won the division last season and didn’t really replace them.
The thing that ultimately separates the Texans from the rest of the division is the duo of Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins. While they certainly overpaid to get him, Tunsil provides a very necessary upgrade for their offensive line. Watson also has plenty of other weapons to play with.
Duke Johnson gives them a versatile playmaker out of the backfield and could be an X-factor. Add in deep threats Will Fuller and Stills and slot man Keke Coutee, they could have their hands on an elite offense.
If the Texans don’t win the division it will be because of their opening schedule. In their first six weeks, they play the Saints, Jaguars, Chargers, Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and Chiefs. If they can manage to win half of those games they will be in good shape as the back half of the schedule is set up nicely for a late-season push.