AFC South 2019 Preview: Will the Indianapolis Colts Take Over the Division?
The Houston Texans ruled the AFC South a season ago, but it did not go easy for them, as the Indianapolis Colts were breathing down their necks for almost the entire 17-week stretch.
The Colts are now the favorites to win the division, though, the Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars along with the Tennessee Titans will not give Andrew Luck and company an easy path to the top. Read this AFC South preview for the 2019 season by Nitrogen Sports Blog.
Favorites: Colts looking to sustain Frank Reich’s excellence at the helm of Indianapolis
Indianapolis Colts (+110)
The Indianapolis Colts surprised a lot of folks in 2018. Despite starting 1-5, the Colts managed to squeak into the playoffs, a testament to head coach Frank Reich’s ability as not only a tactician but a motivator in the locker room.
Apart from Reich, it’s the play of Andrew Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury, that mostly carried Indianapolis to unexpected success in 2018. Luck finished the 2018 campaign with 39 passing yards against 15 interceptions. He was fifth overall with 4,593 passing yards and had one of the top QB ratings in the NFL (71.7).
Now, those expectations are higher. Eric Ebron, who has seemingly found the right team for his talents, broke out in 2018, and he’ll be teaming up with Jack Doyle to form arguably the best tight end tandem in the league. That’s not to mention the addition of former Carolina Panthers wideout Devin Funchess, who’ll certainly add punch to Indianapolis’ offense. The Colts’ defense also out produced did well in 2018.
They stuffed the run last season. And now they should get to the QB much more with the additions of pass rushing specialists Justin Houston and Ben Banogu to the line. Heading into the 2019 season, Reich clearly has the Colts moving in the right direction.
If the NFL is the main course, NCAA Football will serve as an appetizer, as college football is set to kick off before Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season. Visit Nitrogen Sports Blog for college football betting tips and other features as the season goes forward.
AFC South Sleepers: Jaguars and Texans looming large in Indianapolis’ rear view mirror
Jacksonville Jaguars (+375)
To many, replacing Blake Bortles with a Super Bowl champion-winning quarterback in Nick Foles is a major upgrade for Jacksonville’s offense. They may be right, but Foles finds himself in the position unlike the one he had in Philly.
In Jacksonville, he’ll be surrounded by a considerably lesser talent. Still, Foles will give Jacksonville a breath of fresh air, which, hopefully for the team, would mean a spike in the production for the Jaguars’ young playmakers downfield in Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and DJ Chark.
Plus, the Jags still have running back Leonard Fournette. On defense, the Jags could see another decline, with some key players departing due to various reasons over the offseason.
Houston Texans (+240)
The main worry for the Houston Texans heading into the 2018 season was the health of quarterback DeShaun Watson. After suffering a knee injury in 2017, many were concerned that Watson would not be able to return to his electrifying self. But Watson’s game showed no ill effects.
The Texans also addressed their biggest weakness this offseason. They bolstered their offensive line by taking a couple of college standouts with their first two picks. The additions of Tytus Howard and Max Scharping and the return of RT Seantrel Henderson will also boost the team’s protection.
At the moment, the AFC South appears to be any team’s division to win. In other words, the division title is going to be closely contested, which you could also tell based on the odds to win it by teams mentioned in this AFC South preview for the 2019 season.
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