A Showdown in the South: Analyzing the 2022 AFC Division Race between the Colts and Titans

The AFC South: A Division of Surprises and Challenges

The AFC South division in the NFL often faces criticism for being one of the weakest divisions in the league. With teams like the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars struggling in recent years, it’s easy to overlook the potential of the top two teams in the division. As we look ahead to the upcoming season, the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are poised to make their mark. The Titans, with +170 odds, are seeking a third-straight AFC South crown, while the Colts are the betting favorite at -125 odds to win the division. Let’s take a closer look at each team’s prospects.

The Indianapolis Colts: A New Hope

The Indianapolis Colts have made significant changes, especially at the quarterback position, which has elevated them to the status of the new betting favorite in the division. After trading Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, the Colts have turned to veteran Matt Ryan as their starter. Despite a decline with the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Frank Reich believes that Ryan still has what it takes to be a capable game manager for the Colts.

Aside from the quarterback change, the Colts’ offense is led by the impressive running back Jonathan Taylor. After a remarkable performance last season with 20 combined touchdowns and 1,811 rushing yards, Taylor is ready to have a breakout season. With Taylor’s talent and a revamped quarterback position, the Colts have positioned themselves as strong contenders in the AFC South.

The Colts are currently listed at -125 odds to win the AFC South. While they are the frontrunners, it’s important to note that the division race is primarily between the Colts and the Titans. The oddsmakers have set the Colts’ win total at 10.0, indicating high expectations for the team.

The Tennessee Titans: Relying on a Dominant Force

The Tennessee Titans have displayed their resilience in previous seasons, even amidst challenges. In the 2020 season, they won 12 games despite the absence of star running back Derrick Henry for seven games due to injury. While Henry’s workload led to concerns about durability, his remarkable performance, including surpassing 2,000 rushing yards in 2020, solidified his position as a dominant force in the league.

This season, the Titans face a tough schedule, with matchups against strong teams like the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, and more. However, if Henry remains healthy and in top form, the Titans have the potential to maintain their winning ways. The oddsmakers have set their win total for the season at 9.0, indicating a level of confidence in the team’s capabilities.

Despite the challenges, the Titans are listed with +170 odds to win the AFC South for the third consecutive season. Their success largely hinges on Henry’s performance and the ability of the rest of the team to complement his strengths.

The Jacksonville Jaguars: A New Era

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had their fair share of struggles in recent years, but they are ready for a fresh start under new head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson, known for leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, brings a wealth of experience to Jacksonville. His primary task is guiding quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who had a challenging rookie season under the previous coaching staff.

Lawrence, a highly-touted prospect, has a chance to prove himself with the support of Pederson’s quarterback-friendly approach. While the Jaguars aren’t expected to make an immediate leap to the top of the division, they are looking to build a solid foundation for future success.

With a win total set at 6.5, oddsmakers project the Jaguars to win around six or seven games this season. While their odds of winning the AFC South are more remote at +700, the team’s potential shouldn’t be completely overlooked. As Lawrence gains experience and the offense is further developed, the Jaguars might surprise critics in the years to come.

The Houston Texans: Rebuilding from the Bottom

The Houston Texans find themselves in a challenging position coming into the new season. Following a disappointing campaign last year, the Texans have hired Lovie Smith as their head coach with hopes of turning the franchise around. However, the team faces low expectations, with oddsmakers setting their win total at just 4.5 games.

Quarterback Davis Mills, who impressed scouts during his rookie season, is expected to continue his development. With improvements in their roster and coaching staff, the Texans hope to climb out of the bottom of the AFC South. However, their chances of winning the division currently sit at +3000, placing them as significant underdogs.


As the upcoming NFL season approaches, the AFC South presents a mix of storylines and expectations. While the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are the frontrunners in the division, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans aim to rebuild and improve their fortunes.


1. Can the Indianapolis Colts win the AFC South?

Yes, with their upgraded quarterback position and a strong supporting cast, the Colts are well-positioned to win the AFC South this season.

2. Are the Tennessee Titans still contenders despite a challenging schedule?

Yes, the Titans have proven their resilience in previous seasons, and with a healthy Derrick Henry, they have the potential to overcome their tough schedule and be serious contenders in the division.

3. Can the Jacksonville Jaguars improve significantly under their new coach?

The Jaguars are in a rebuilding phase, but with the guidance of coach Doug Pederson and the presence of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, they have the potential to make notable strides in their development.

4. Will the Houston Texans rebound from their struggles last season?

The Texans face a challenging task in rebuilding their team, but with a new coach and promising young players, they have the opportunity to make progress in the AFC South. However, their chances of winning the division remain slim.

5. Who is the favorite to win the AFC South?

The Indianapolis Colts are the current favorites to win the AFC South, with their upgraded roster and renewed optimism under head coach Frank Reich.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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