The Houston Texans will win the AFC South in a grueling battle that may last to the end of the 2018 NFL season.
Last year there was a lot of hope in Houston. The Texans were coming off consecutive division crowns, and they drafted their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Unfortunately, Watson tore his ACL during a non-contact practice at midseason, ending his season. With Tom Savage under center, the Texans’ hopes were dashed.
Before the injury, Watson was on his way to a great rookie season, throwing for 19 touchdowns and 1,699 yards. With Watson starting, Houston was 3-3 before finishing a brutal 4-12, earning it the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (the pick was traded to the Cleveland Browns).
The main competition in the division could come from the Indianapolis Colts if Andrew Luck is finally healthy. Luck, who has been shelved since Week 17 of the 2016 season, has not yet thrown an NFL-sized football but is expected back for training camp. While the Colts have a poor overall roster, Luck has shown in the past that he can carry a team deep into the playoffs without much help.
At this stage in their careers, the better quarterback between Indianapolis and Houston is undoubtedly Luck. Still, Watson has better talent around him.
There are also the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans lurking. Jacksonville won the division with a 10-6 record a season ago and has arguably the league’s best defense. The Titans also won nine games and reached the playoffs, upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round before falling in New England the following weekend. Both are going to be tough outs for Houston come September.
In the end, this season will come to the talent around Watson trumping the talent of Luck. While Jacksonville and Tennessee are both dangerous, the quarterback play is going to hold both outfits back. If Luck can stay on the field, the Colts will still make the playoffs, but the AFC South will belong to the Texans.