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Which Team Wins The AFC South?

The AFC South doesn’t have a reputation for being the best divisions, but last year three teams making a run for the glory in the last week of the season earned it some credibility.

The Houston Texans won the division for the second time in a row despite the absence of their best player for most of the season and inconsistent play at the quarterback position.

Can the Texans win once more? Let’s take a look at the AFC South Total Wins for the season projections. 

2017 AFC South Win Total Predictions

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are expected to win nine games this season. Last year, Indianapolis finished 8-8 for the second time in a row, which was third in the division.

Most of the Colts’ woes came from their weak offensive line, which, frankly, sucked and was the worst in the league.

Their O-line problems translated to a poor running game, and quarterback Andrew Luck had to watch his back constantly or risk being injured.

Being that the Colts’ fate relies so much on Luck being healthy, protecting him becomes paramount.

Indianapolis did make some changes during the offseason to address this problem, but we won’t find out if they’ve worked until the season starts.

The Colts also hired two new defensive players, safety Malik Hooker and corner Quincy Wilson, who should give the team additional stopping power (last year they finished 30th in yards allowed).

New GM Chris Ballard spearheaded the acquisitions, so at least there are signs the Colts are righting their ship.

If you recall, previous GM, Ryan Grigson, hired players that didn’t exactly pan out such as wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

Ballard, it seems, is addressing the team’s issues on defense, at least, at this point.

The Colts only face three playoff teams from last year’s postseason, which means they should be able to win no less than nine games.

Win Total: OVER 9

Houston Texans

Houston is expected to win 8.5 games. Last year, they won nine games despite the absence of three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt for most of the season, and with Brock Osweiller not playing well.

This year, they’ve hired former Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who should take on the job early on if Tom Savage doesn’t start.

For now, Savage seems to be the starting quarterback, provided he performs well. Coach Bill O’Brien has confidence in Savage however as he’s made clear in recent comments: “…Tom Savage is No. 1. But he knows that he has to go out there and earn it every day. And that’s what’s best for the team.”

With a healthy Watt leading the defense, a good running game, and a decent quarterback, I don’t see any reason for the Texans not winning at least 9 games.

Win Total: OVER 9 

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are expected to win six games this season. Despite being chock-full of talent, this team only won three games last year.

 This season, they took on former LSU phenom Leonard Fournette, who is among the favorites to win the Rookie of the Year award.

Fournette should make a big splash in the Jaguars’ running game that was stagnant with Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon.

It’s Fournette’s first season in the pros however, and, in fact, he has a uphill battle because the expectations are very high.

The Jags also haven’t addressed their problems at the quarterback position. Blake Bortles hasn’t exactly been the franchise quarterback they expected him to be.

Now, under Tom Coughlin, Bortles’ future with the organization is uncertain unless he hits the ground running because if he ends up throwing 51 interceptions, like he did last year, he’ll have an early ticket out.

I expect the defense to improve with the addition of corner A.J Bouye, safety Barry Church and Calais Campbell, and see them winning at least six games but no more.

Win Total: UNDER 6 

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are expected to win 8.5 games this year. This team improved from their 2015 campaign, winning nine games last year. But, that still wasn’t enough to unseat the Texans from their throne because Houston held the tie breaker over the Titans.

Regardless, the Titans are on the up and up, with two winning seasons under their belts after not having a winning season in eight years since they last won the division.

There’s a lot riding on Marcus Mariota being healthy, because if you couple his passing attack with a strong running game using DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, it’ll turn the Titans into an offensive powerhouse.

I still have my doubts on the defense. The Titans have one of the worst in the league, but they might have solved their issues during the postseason.

If they play even slightly better than last year, this will be a difficult team to beat.

I predict the Titans winning more than nine games this season and will surprise many naysayers by winning the division.

Total Wins: OVER 9