The AFC South is going to look a lot different in 2021. As long as Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry are at the forefront, the Tennessee Titans will be competitive in the AFC South.

But which team will give them the bigger challenge in their AFC South title defense?

Let’s roll through each AFC South opponent of the Titans and determine who might be more likely to give the Titans a run for their money.

TEAM MOST LIKELY TO COMPETE: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Tennessee Titans
Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of a AFC Wild Card game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts’ big move this offseason was trading for a quarterback. Not just any quarterback though, it was Carson Wentz.

Tennessee Titans fans discounted the move while noting Wentz’s misfortunes in Philadelphia. However, I wouldn’t sleep on the move.

You know the Titans have had their luck with running backs in this century. The Colts have had that at quarterback. They’ve gone from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, and even Jacolby Brissett was somewhat successful with them.

They most recently had Phillip Rivers, who put up 4,169 yards while throwing 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Colts mainly were carried by a stifling defense, though, but barely lost the division to the Titans. If any team is widely expected to compete with the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South, it’s the Colts now that they have Wentz at the helm and not a 39-year-old Rivers.

SLEEPER: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Tennessee Titans
Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (30) runs the ball past Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jack Crawford (94) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have been irrelevant for a long, long time. Aside from their random AFC Championship run back in 2017.

Jacksonville has the number one overall pick and is expected to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Many regard Lawrence as a generational talent at the position, with some comparing him to Andrew Luck.

The Jaguars already have a pretty talented offense. James Robinson had a solid outing as a rookie in 2020, running for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Jaguars already have some talent at the receiver position as well. The position group includes D.J. Chark, who is two seasons removed from a 1,008-yard campaign.

They also signed receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett II, both of which aren’t world-breaking signings but still some decent weapons for their soon-to-be quarterback.

They still have the ammo to add more. The Jaguars own two picks in the first round and eight more picks in the rest of the draft.

Under new head coach Urban Meyer, this team could have a random breakout season with the young talent they have on both sides of the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are the ones that take the division race down to the wire.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEM: THE HOUSTON TEXANS

Tennessee Titans
Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks up after a play during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The drama surrounding their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is just a distraction to the team. That’s piled on top of the fact that Watson wants out.

They signed a bunch of free agents and made some trades that don’t scare anyone. They will probably roll into the 2021 season without Watson playing, whether by suspension or being released or traded.

The Texans are in shambles, and their best days are officially behind them. If this team gives anyone a run for their money in the division, it would be the most unexpected thing of the 2021 season.

Realistically, they will only be able to play spoiler in the latter part of the season when the Titans are fighting for the division or a playoff spot.

The Tennessee Titans still need to address their most significant needs if they want to have a chance at the division, though. The pass rush needs to be better, so they aren’t chasing Trevor Lawrence and Carson Wentz around.

Featured image by Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


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