The Jacksonville Jaguars were fun to watch in the second half of the 2022 season. After a 2-7 start, they hit their stride and managed to seize the AFC South. Not surprisingly, the Jags are favorites to win the division for the second straight year heading into Week 1.
In fact, here are three reasons they should have no trouble winning their division in back-to-back seasons, a feat they last achieved in 1998-1999, when they were part of the AFC Central. Here are three reasons why.
No. 3 reason the Jaguars will win the AFC South: The general state of the rest of the division
The Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans made several upgrades to their respective rosters in the offseason. For their part, the Texans drafted quarterback C.J. Stroud second overall and added several skilled position players to the offense, including but not limited to wide receiver Robert Woods, tight end Dalton Schultz, and running back Devin Singletary.
Meanwhile, Tennessee revamped their offensive line and added a couple of depth pieces in tight end Josh Whyle and running back Tyjae Spears. Moreover, they landed DeAndre Hopkins, who gives whoever lines up behind center a bonafide No. 1 receiver. All these additions should help the Titans compete weekly.
The Indianapolis Colts didn't make nearly as many acquisitions as their division foes but have a new starting quarterback in Anthony Richardson. However, all these clubs are lagging behind the Jaguars when it comes to talent. Indy has a subpar wide receiver corps and Jonathan Taylor is set to miss four games to start the 2023 season. Their defense could keep them in games but it's hard to see the offense putting many points on the scoreboard with an inexperienced Richardson at the helm.
Similarly, the Texans will go as far as rookie C.J. Stroud takes them. It's true that he'll have a solid supporting cast but expecting him to play at an elite level in his first NFL campaign is a big ask. On the other hand, Tennessee is counting on Ryan Tannehill to bounce back from a down year and Derrick Henry not to slow down.
Although the Jags also have a few question marks entering the regular season — their pass rush rotation — they don't have nearly as many weaknesses as their division rivals.