top of page

Regular Season Grades: AFC South

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Pat Pryor

Written by Cody Manning

The AFC South division had a great year, with two teams seeing postseason play en route to a Super Bowl berth. Here at Blitzalytics, we’ve done previews and recaps of every game this year, along with generall content about the team’s performance over the regular season. Now, with the season behind us, it’s time to grade each of the teams, both individually and as a division.

Houston Texans

Expected Grade: B

2018 Record: 11-5

Outlook: The Texans entered the season with no expectations as Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt were returning from injuries. After starting 0-3 Houston went on to win 9 straight games which helped push the team towards winning the division. Watson was tearing up the league and a big part of that was his chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins. Houston’s defense kept them in games because of the play of Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Their season did end on a sour note after falling to the Colts in a December matchup and again during Wildcard Weekend. With Watson and Watt having a healthy offseason gives the Texans a lot of hope as they head towards the 2019 season.

Final Grade: B+

Indianapolis Colts

Expected Grade: C-

2018 Record: 10-6

Outlook: Andrew Luck had all types of doubt cast around him,Indy had their ‘Plan B’ head coach, and the roster was considered talentless to most outside the organization. While Luck started to show progress in his return, the Colts started off the season 1-5. Then everything clicked for Indianapolis as they went on to 9 out of their final 10 games to clinch a wildcard spot in the playoffs. While Luck’s Comeback Player of the Year campaign was a big part of that, so was the 2018 rookie class that featured Quenton Nelson and the Defensive Rookie of the Year in Darius Leonard. Indy went on to upset the Texans in the playoffs but fell to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. With plenty of cap space and another draft class, the future is bright for the Colts.

Final Grade: A-

Tennessee Titans

Expected Grade: B

2018 Record: 9-7

Outlook: The Titans entered the year coming off a playoff appearance with a new coaching staff but with the expectations that they would compete for the divisional title. Tennessee just never seemed to find their groove as they had too many ups and downs throughout their season. Marcus Mariota battled through injuries constantly and the team had to rely upon Blaine Gabbert at times which isn’t the most ideal situation to be in. Without establishing an identity on offense it ended up catching up to them in the end despite the stellar play of their defense in 2018. Despite the roller coaster of a season, Tennessee still had a shot to make the playoffs in the last week of the year. In a win-and-in situation against the Colts, they fell short and much could be blamed on Mariota missing the contest. With so many questions surrounding around Mariota as the answer for Tennesse, the future is a bit murky for the Titans potential run to get back into the playoff picture.

Final Grade: C+

Jacksonville Jaguars

Expected Grade: A

2018 Record: 5-11

Outlook: After making an appearance in the AFC Conference Championship game the prior year, Jacksonville entered 2018 with high expectations that included a Super Bowl appearance from within the organization and outsiders. After a 3-1 start, which included a decisive victory over the Patriots, the Jags completely fell apart as a team. Blake Bortles was eventually benched but the offense never showed any life as the season progressed. Based on reports, it sounds like the chemistry in the locker room was disrupted by some player’s egos. Jacksonville was arguably the most disappointing team across the NFL. If the Jaguars fail to find a suitable replacement for Bortles then they could have another letdown year in 2019 after being considered one of the better teams in the league at this time last year.

Final Grade: D+

bottom of page