Okay, from here on out this is cheating a bit because Week 1 is almost in the books, but here goes anyway.
Tennesee’s surprising run to the AFC Championship game last season was remarkable. After back-dooring into the playoffs with a win in Houston against a Texans team that was resting a bunch of starters and having lost the previous two games, the Titans went on a tear. With Derrick Henry being all but unstoppable and Rookie A J Brown looking like a future hall-of-famer and Ryan Tannehill all of the sudden looking like a professional football quarterback, the Titans dispatched the Patriots (first win in Foxboro since 1993) and the Ravens (again on the road) before going out with a respectable (they were up by 10 at one point) effort against the Chiefs. Some expect AJB to have a sophomore slump and Henry to show signs of overuse. Not Red. Henry is an amazing athlete and Brown will be a top 10 receiver. The defense is more than solid and will finish as a top-5 run defense in 2020. The only big question mark is whether Tannehill will continue to perform at the next level. It will be a step down, but the Titans have the goods to win it all in this most pathetic excuse for a professional football division. Tennessee at 11-5.
This is really cheating. Jacksonville’s young talent was showcased yesterday. They will not be great at anything, but mere competence will make you competitive in this division. It is hard to remember that this team was in the AFC Championship Game a mere three years ago, but is now in a complete rebuild. Maybe this is a good season for that. Questions abound. Is Gardner Minshew actually a franchise quarterback or just good enough to not lose games for you? Does Doug Marrone know what he is doing? Will DJ Chark be a top WR? Who is going to run the ball? Red doesn’t have the answers. But he thinks that enough pieces fall into place for a 7-9 campaign.
What have the Texans done right lately? Dumping DeAndre Hopkins (arguably the second best receiver in the game) for oft-injured one season wonder David Johnson. Paying absurd amounts to good players. Refusing to upgrade talent in the depleted secondary. Running outdated defensive schemes. Thinking they can win on the arm and legs of DeShaun Watson alone. Facing down a brutal opening stretch that could ruin the season. The reports on S. Main are not good. The Texans are routinely looked at as a laughing-stock of the league. Red is chuckling. Texans go 6-10 and finally show Bill O’ the Clown the door.
Tired old Phillip Rivers shows that he is tired and old. He will beat the Texans twice simply because T Y Hilton refuses to lose to that team. They bring up the rear at 5-11 to grab the worst division in the NFL crown.