AFC South power rankings to begin 2023: The division runs through the Jaguars

• The Jaguars are one of the hottest team in the NFL right now

• How does the rest of the division stack up against them?

A fan holds up a sign before the game of an NFL football regular season matchup AFC South division.
A fan holds up a sign before the game of an NFL football regular season matchup AFC South division. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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No. 2 AFC South Power Ranking before Week 1 of the 2023 season: Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans are at a crossroads entering the 2023 season. Just like the Texans, they made several important moves in the offseason but it may not be enough to claim back the division. You have to tip your hat to general manager Ran Carthon though. He inherited a team with pretty bad cap shape but still managed to balance the books and replenish the roster.

Long-time mainstays such as linebacker David Long, left tackle Taylor Lewan, offensive guard Nate Davis, and center Nate Jones are gone. However, the Titans signed Andre Dillard, defensive end Arden Key, and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting in free agency. On top of that, they gave defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons a mega extension and found a way to secure wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

The Tennessee 2023 draft class is also promising, having spent all their picks on one offense. One of them was spent on Will Levis, who may be their quarterback of the future. By now you might be wondering why the Titans are playing second fiddle to the Jaguars despite having made so many upgrades. The answer is simple.

Derek Henry is still the best running back in the NFL but an eventual decline is inevitable. Although Tennessee drafted Tyjae Spears in Round 3, their offense runs through King Henry. If he isn't as effective as he's been in previous years, the Titans might have trouble putting points on the scoreboard.

Similarly, Ryan Tannehill dealt with injuries in 2022 and is coming off an underwhelming year. If he can't bounce back, the Titans could turn to either Levis or Malik Willis and neither one has proven they're the long-term answer at quarterback.