With the sudden and shocking early retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, the biggest beneficiary of it is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Already armed with a stout defense led by Calais Campbell and a ballhawk in the secondary in Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars brought in Super Bowl MVP QB Nick Foles and former Eagles offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to jumpstart an otherwise bland offense.
While the Jags lack any big names at WR, Dede Westbrook, Marquise Lee and Terrelle Pryor could prove to be sleepers to watch for and Jacksonville still has Leonard Fournette at RB.
Jacksonville already had one of the most stout defensive fronts in the NFL before signing Foles in the offseason and now with the addition of him, the Jaguars are the class of the division.
With all due respect to Tennessee, Houston and Indianapolis, but all of them have their flaws and are not as complete as Jacksonville.
In Houston, you have one of the NFL’s most electrifying playmakers in the league in QB Deshawn Watson–when he is not getting sacked–the premier defensive player in the whole league in J.J. Watt, WR DeAndre Hopkins along with their ongoing contract drama with DE Jadaevon Clowney mutes all of the talent they have and recently lost in RB Lamar Miller.
The addition of former Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson will help, but unless the Texans can keep Watson upright, the Texans are an 8-8 team.
In Indianapolis, the loss of Luck is beyond devastating to that franchise, who must now turn to Jacoby Brisettt and somehow hope they catch lightning in a bottle or hope to cash out–and tank–for the likes of Justin Herbert in the 2020 NFL Draft.
As far as the Titans are concerned, former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota may be playing for his job, thanks to the signing of former Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill waiting in the wings if Mariota starts off slow or gets injured.
On paper, Tennessee has talent in WR Corey Davis, TE Delanie Walker and RB Derrick Henry. The Titans defense led by FS Kenny Vaccaro, LB’s Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry and pass rusher Cameron Wake figure to make Tennessee a tough and rugged defense to face on Sundays.
One would expect nothing less from a former player who learned at the feet of The Hooded One in Bill Belichick in head coach Mike Vrabel.
Out of all the teams in the division, Tennessee may be the one team that could give Jacksonville problems, if they can figure out their QB situation and put things together.
If not, then the division is Jacksonville’s for the taking.
There are questions of the Jaguars can get back to their AFC title game form of two years ago vs. the Patriots. While Foles is no Blake Bortles, is the former Eagle a spring chicken outside of the City Of Brotherly Love?
Can he produce as a full-time starter? Can Fournette focus on football? Can Ramsey keep his mouth shut and ball on the field?
Depending on how these questions are answered, the boys from Duval County look to run things in the AFC South for the unforeseeable future.