One Christmas Wish For Every AFC South Team In 2024

by Tyler Feinstein
Football Helmet

Once nothing more than a laughingstock of a division, the AFC South had a solid season in 2023 with 3 teams finishing with a winning record and the Texans were one of the league’s biggest surprises. 2024 looks to be an excellent year for the division with all the teams making major changes to their rosters. But if these teams want to get the most out of their 2024 season, they need one grand Christmas Wish to become reality.

Houston Texans: Taking The Next Step Towards Super Bowl Contention

The Houston Texans were arguably the biggest surprise of 2023. Once an NFL laughing stock, the Texans would win 10 games, win the AFC South and win a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns. But 2023 was just the beginning of what will be a dangerous team for years to come. In 2024 General Manager Nick Caserio built an even stronger roster which could compete for a Super Bowl. 

Quarterback CJ Stroud proved he was the franchise building block in 2023 and Nick Caserio wasted no time building around him. Acquiring one of the NFL’s best Wide Receivers in Stefon Diggs was one of the league’s major blockbuster moves of the offseason. Stefon Diggs will join a Texans Wide Receiver Corps that includes Nico Collins, who enjoyed a career best season in 2023, and Tank Dell, who was having a good rookie season until he got injured. 

The running game also received an upgrade by acquiring stud Running Back Joe Mixon in a trade from the Bengals to provide a threat on the ground. Defensively there were also some key additions, the biggest being signing Star Free Agent Edge Rusher Danielle Hunter. He will join 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson to form one of the NFL’s most disruptive one-two punches on the edge.

The interior defensive line, which was the weakest unit on the defense last year, received reinforcements with the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Denico Autry. Cornerback Derek Stingley made major strides in his second season and the Texans got him a potentially solid running mate in 2024 second round pick Kamari Lassiter.

The road won’t be easy for Houston as the AFC has gotten better and the AFC is a juggernaut of a conference but if the pieces can align in place, this team can make a very deep run in the postseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Bounce Back Strong

It was a rough finish in 2023 for the Jacksonville Jaguars. A very promising 8-3 start was derailed by a Trevor Lawrence injury and a 1-5 record in the final 6 games tumbled into a 9-8 record and missed the playoffs. But it isn’t all doom and gloom in Duval County. This team will have the opportunity to wash that vile taste of 2023 out of their mouths. 

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who got paid a mammoth contract of 275 million over 5 years, will look to find his footing again after an injury plagued and inconsistent 2023. The pieces surrounding Trevor are pretty solid, with Christian Kirk, Free Agent acquisition Gabe Davis, and 24th overall pick Brian Thomas forming a solid group of wideouts. 

The running game is also good with Travis Etinne being one of the NFL’s better Running Backs. Free Agent signing Mitch Morse should help quite a lot at center to form a formidable unit in the interior with Brandon Scherff and Ezra Cleveland. Tackles Cam Robinson and Anton Harrison are also a serviceable duo on the outside. 

Jacksonville’s defense was inconsistent in 2023 and received a few changes, the biggest being new Defensive Coordinator Ryan Nielsen, who did a solid job in his lone season as the Falcons defensive play caller. He will look to do the same with the Jaguars and has a solid collection of talent. 

The Jaguars have a sneaky good front seven highlighted by a dangerous pass rush tandem of Travon Walker and Josh Allen. Free Agent pickup Arik Armstead is a versatile player that can be disruptive both in the trenches and on the outside. Linebackers Foyesade Oloukun and Devin Lloyd are one of the NFL’s better duos at the position. The talent isn’t limited to just the front seven, the secondary has some nice pieces as well. 

General Manager Trent Baalke attacked the secondary this offseason by adding Cornerback Ronald Darby and Nickelback Darnell Savage to help out Tyson Campbell in the back end. Andre Cisco and Antonio Johnson are a very young duo at safety that have the upside to be one of the better units at the position. 

This team is definitely a sleeper to watch in 2024. I’m not saying they’ll be an elite squad, but they are a squad that has the pieces to be a playoff team and can easily get the jump on you if you aren’t careful 

Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson Returns Stronger 

The Indianapolis Colts barely missed the playoffs despite losing promising Quarterback and #4 overall pick Anthony Richardson for the season due to shoulder injury to his throwing arm. With a healthy Anthony Richardson, the Colts could be a team that can be sneaky good in 2024. 

Anthony will also have a plentiful amount of weapons at his disposal. Michael Pittman Jr, Josh Downs, Adonai Mitchell and Alec Pierce are a young and talented group of wideouts while star Running Back Jonathan Taylor is one of the NFL’s most destructive runners. Jelani Woods also has potential to become a good Tight End in the NFL, along with a strong offensive line headlined by Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly. 

If Anthony Richardson can improve on his mechanics and stay healthy, along with a rising Head Coach in Shane Steichen, this Colts squad can do some damage in a hyper competitive AFC. 

Tennessee Titans: Will Levis Is The New Franchise Quarterback

Will Levis showed some promise as a rookie in limited action despite having a poor supporting cast around him. General Manager Ran Carthon made sure to give his new Quarterback a lot more support this time around. 

The Tennessee Titans were one of the busiest teams this offseason, especially in offense. New Head Coach Brian Callahan will look to unlock Will’s potential as well as fixing the offense. The cupboard is very strong at Wide Receiver with DeAndre Hopkins and Free Agent acquisitions Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd forming a vicious trio. 

Derrick Henry, who was the Titans engine on offense for many years will be greatly missed, but Free Agent Running Back Tony Pollard is a decent replacement. Watch out for second year speedster Tyjae Spears to also receive his fair share of carries. 

The offensive line was a train wreck last season allowing a whopping 64 sacks and repeatedly got hammered. Ran Carthon made many personnel changes on the offensive line, including bringing in Center Lloyd Cushenberry and Offensive Guard Saahdiq Charles in free agency to help standout rookie Peter Skoronski. In the 2024 NFL Draft, Ran Carthon selected Alabama standout Offensive Tackle JC Latham with the 7th overall pick to help protect Levis’ blindside. 

It’s very unlikely the Tennessee Titans make the playoffs this year in a gauntlet that is the AFC, but if Will Levis shows significant improvement, that would be the biggest Christmas present the Titans faithful could ask for this year.

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