It was a rough week for most of the AFC South to begin the season. The Jaguars lost their starting quarterback, Nick Foles, for at least half of the season. The Colts fought back in regulation, only to not see the ball in overtime and fall on the road to the Chargers. Finally, on Monday night, the Texans lost in heartbreaking fashion on a 58-yard field goal from Wil Lutz. The only team to emerge with a win was the Tennessee Titans, who curb-stomped the Browns 43-13 in Cleveland.
Now, with the Titans owning a full game lead in the division after just one week, the AFC South has an early season showdown. There will be two divisional games this week. The only other time this will happen this season is Week 17. At the end of the season, this week could be one of the most important in deciding who wins the division.
Tennessee Titans: 1-0
Houston Texans: 0-1
Indianapolis Colts: 0-1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 0-1
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
The Jaguars have already taken a brutal hit this season. Starting the season against the explosive Chiefs offense was tough enough, but now Jacksonville will be without Foles for at least eight weeks. Things don’t get any easier for the cats from Duval County in Week 2. They have to head over to Houston and face Deshaun Watson, who looked extraordinary down the stretch in New Orleans on Monday. However, the Jaguars pass rush could get after Watson after he was already sacked six times in Week 1.
If the Texans can protect Watson, Houston should contend to win the division again. However, having a quarterback take that many hits could put the Texans in hot water. This week, Houston should be able to pull it off at home against rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew and get back to .500. The Jaguars will have to regroup quickly for a Thursday night battle with Tennessee.
Prediction: Texans 27 Jaguars 19
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Tennessee can really take control of the division early in the season with a win on Sunday. However, it will have to come against Indianapolis who, to say the least, hasn’t been easy for the Titans to knock off recently. Although, with Andrew Luck, who was undefeated against the Titans in his career, retired, this should become an easier task. Tennessee defeated the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts twice back in 2017. Nashville should be rocking for this home-opener, especially with Steve McNair and Eddie George having their numbers retired at halftime.
The Colts are still one of the best-built rosters in the league, but Brissett isn’t Andrew Luck. The Titans’ defense was smothering, outside of two drives, in Cleveland on Sunday. At home, Tennessee will do enough to win and get to 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
Prediction: Titans 24 Colts 21