Jan
03
2021

The Fuel Tank: Who Will Conquer The AFC South?

Hello, football fans and welcome to the Fuel Tank! In this exciting column, we will be breaking down one of the hottest NFL debate topics and then I will be giving my viewpoint on the topic while breaking down why the opposition is false. Please don’t bash anyone or post any hateful comments as everyone has a right to their own opinion! With that said, let’s jump right into today’s story.

All but two divisions have been secured in the NFL: the NFC East and the AFC South. The NFC East is its own mess, and I’ve already given my predictions on who’ll secure the division, so I’ll focus today on the AFC South. The South has two teams vying for the title: the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts. The Titans will be facing off against the Texans and the Colts will face off against Jaguars; two divisional matchups that’ll determine who’ll secure the South.

While these games are simple wins for both teams, only one will come out as the champion; that team is none other than the Titans. There is a multitude of reasons as to why:

1. Their road is easier than the Colts

All the Titans have to do is beat the Texans, who they beat in the past in Week 6 42-36. If they beat them, they win the division and if the Colts lose, the same occurs. On the other hand, for the Colts, to win the division and to secure a guaranteed playoff spot, they must win their game and hope that the Texans defeat or tie with the Titans.

While they did lose to the Jags in Week 1, both teams are completely different, and this matchup may be easier for the Colts to handle, but most likely, it’ll come down to the result of the Titans-Texans game. Say your prayers Colts’ fans.

2. Henry will feast on the Texans’ weak rush defense

The Texans’ have one of the worst defenses in the league and, coincidentally, one of the worst rushing defenses along with it. Houston is ranked 31st in rush defense, allowing over 150 rushing yards per game and 155 yard average in their last three. JJ Watt and Zach Cunningham are on of the only reasons it’s not in dead last, however, no matter what they’ll be able to do, it’ll be tough to stop Henry.

In Week 6 (their last matchup), Henry ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 9.64 yards per attempt; and, he had two catches on five targets for 52 yards. This proves that he has annihilated the Texans defense; furthermore, he’ll probably be able to do it again. He averages over 118 rushing yards per game, so it’ll be an easy task for him to destroy them with playoff hopes and the AFC South title on the line.

3. Watson has barely any weapons to keep up with the Titans

In their last matchup, two receivers that were key in keeping up with the Titans in their last matchup were Will Fuller and Randall Cobb. Fuller lead the receiving core that week with six catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, while Cobb has three catches for 17 yards and a touchdown. Cobb’s stats don’t seem like much, but without that touchdown, the game would’ve never gone into overtime. Sadly, times have changed since their last matchup.

Cobb is on IR with a toe injury, and Fuller was suspended for the rest of the year due to him taking performance-enhancing drugs he wasn’t aware of. He stated that:

“As it turns out,” Fuller writes, “my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances.”

Will Fuller V on Instagram; Nov. 30th, 2020

Take that as you may, his loss took a huge hit to the Texans’ offense, and now Watson has two fewer weapons to work with. While the Titans have one of the worst pass defenses in the league (ranked 28th), Watson will face problems down the line, but on the bright side, he still has Fells who was a huge contributor in their last matchup against the Titans (six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown) and Brandin Cooks, one of better slot receivers in the league. Dismally, these two won’t be enough to supplement the loss of Fuller and Cobb.

Addressing the other side

But the Texans could upset the Titans

They could, but the chances of that happening are slim to none, especially after the losses of both Fuller and Cobb. It’ll be tough for Watson and company to defeat them.

Couldn’t the Texans run all over the Titans’ defense?

The Titans do have the 19th ranked rush defense in the league, allowing 122 rushing yards per game and around 149 yards per game in their last three match-ups. If the Texans had a susceptible running back, then yes, they could. David Johnson has fallen off, and he isn’t the running back he once was. In their last bout versus the Titans, he only ran for 57 yards for a touchdown.

The stats don’t seem too bad; decent, but not terrible. That is until you see he had 19 rushing opportunities and averaged three yards per run. Their backup RB, Duke Johnson, is questionable with a neck injury, so the rushing attack may be less than last match, or what was even predicted at the time.

Who do you think will win the AFC South? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!