April 13, 2024

AFC South Predictions

5 min read

AFC South Predictions for 2022

by Tim Lazenby

 

Now that the schedule for the 2022 NFL season is out, I thought it would be fun to predict how these teams would be for this upcoming season.  These predictions are based on previous results, byes and straight up gut feelings.  Although some results are not surprising, I was shocked at some of these predictions.

 

Houston Texans

Record in 2021: 4-13-0  

Predicted Record in 2022: 3-13-1

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

The Texans have made improvements to be sure, especially on defense, but they still have work to do.  The offensive weapons aren’t completely lacking, but the explosion, particularly on the ground, is still missing.  Davis Mills still needs time to develop and until he is protected more, it’s going to be a while.  As much as I love Brandin Cooks, he can’t do everything for the Texans anymore.

 

Situation to watch

Like I mentioned before, I really need to see some explosion in the running game.  Highly anticipated draftee, Dameon Pierce will be one to watch and we’ll have to see if Marlon Mack still has gas left in the tank.  The Texans haven’t instilled fear into the opposition at running back for a while now and this needs to be happen soon.

 

Conclusion

I truly believed in my heart that the Texans were due for an improvement, albeit a slight one in 2022.  Upon looking at the schedule, I guess that isn’t the case.  I only see them winning one game in their division, making the mountain all the more higher to climb.  A prediction of basement dwelling is upon us.

 


 

Indianapolis Colts

Record in 2021: 9-8-0

Predicted Record in 2022: 12-5-0

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s obvious that the biggest weapon is phenom Jonathan Taylor, but we can’t forget that this team is stacked from top to bottom.  Utilizing an underrated defense, and sneaky good receivers, they’ll improve greatly from 2022.  The only worry is that their fifth starting quarterback in as many years may not get up to speed right away, even though it is Matt Ryan.  Just remember the 37 year old isn’t the same guy who played in Super Bowl LI.

 

Situation to watch

Although many people have their focus on Matt Ryan, I am actually more excited to see how Stephon Gilmore and Yannick Ngakoue do in Indianapolis.  They are two of the quieter acquisitions this offseason for players of their caliber.  I am also anxious to see what happens with Xavier Rhodes.  He may not be the same caliber as he was years ago in Minnesota, but he can’t still help if he stays.

 

Conclusion

It’s probably not shocking for most to see such an assessment.  While the Colts started strong in 2021, which should be repeated, I don’t see the rapid decline that happened at the end of last season.  There was a lot of hate coming Carson Wentz’s way, but now the Colts have no excuse.  Indianapolis is poised to lead the division in 2022.

 


 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record in 2021: 3-14-0

Predicted Record in 2022: 8-9-0

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

The defense for the Jaguars was appalling last season.  Management went and grabbed two studs in the draft to address this.  Shad Khan also opened the vault this offseason, signing many offensive pieces to help Lawrence.  Let’s not forget that Jacksonville will get a healthy Travis Etienne moving forward.  I do worry about the newest signings not being game breakers.  Depth is great, but monster starters are also needed.

 

Situation to watch

Above anything else, I'm sure I’m not alone in my curiosity toward Doug Pederson’s second stint at coaching.  With Urban Meyers setting a garbage fire last season, it will be interesting to see what the former Super Bowl winning coach does to address the situation in Jacksonville.  I always thought Pederson was unjustly let go, so we’ll see if he proves me right.

 

Conclusion

I am possibly the most bullish non Jaguars fan in the world with my prediction for 2022.  The four road wins I am seeing them accomplish next season certainly helps more than anything for Trevor Lawrence and company.  And although I said it before, A healthy Etienne should make a world of difference for the Jags in 2022.

 


 

Tennessee Titans

Record in 2021: 12-5-0

Predicted Record in 2022: 9-8-0

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

Even at 28 years old, Derrick Henry continues to defy Father Time.  His impact as a true smasher can’t be understated and there is a threat at all times that he is on the field.  Boasting fantastic health before last season, there is a slight worry his body won’t be as resilient moving forward.  The team is going to have to adjust for the eventual transition that needs to take place.

 

Situation to watch

.The chalky answer is the one I’m going with here. WIth AJ Brown now playing for the Eagles, the Titans now focus on other faces.  Although the entire receiver room isn’t new, Robert Woods and Treylon Burks will be very interesting to watch.  Will Robert Woods be the same man after the injury?  And will Treylon Burks be able to fill Brown’s shoes moving forward?  Only time will tell and I’m excited to see the results.

 

Conclusion

It’s not that the Titans are worse than they were in 2021, it’s more that other teams have gotten better.  I see a few teams that they would have beaten in 2021 rising about them in 2022.  The departure of AJ Brown should also rock the boat a bit when it comes to their success.  That being said, I don’t see the Titans being down for long.

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