The NFL is back! Week one is often unpredictable as teams struggle to find their feet. How will the teams of the AFC South get on? Find out what I think will happen in the AFC South week one games below…
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars
Big offseason addition Nick Foles gets his first start in a brand new Jon Defillipo offense. The two worked magic together in Philadelphia, but Frank Reich was calling the plays. Defillippo’s play calling debut a year ago with the Vikings was rough, will his offense have more balanced this time around.
Expect the Jaguars to run a lot with Leonard Fournette to try and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. The reigning MVP is expected by many to have another monster season, but a stellar Jaguars secondary with a lot to prove will have something to say about that.
Keys to this game for Jacksonville. Shut down the speed of Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman and run the ball down the throat of the Chiefs with Leonard Fournette. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has an incredible record in games with lots of preparation time. I expect the Chiefs to blow away the Jaguars.
Final Score Chiefs 44 – 20 Jaguars
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
The Cleveland Browns are America’s off-season darling. Adding Odell Beckham to an already stacked group of weapons for Sophomore quarterback Baker Mayfield should spell disaster for the rest of the teams in the league. However questions remain about the Browns offensive line. The Titans will need to bring pressure and lots of it to try and force Mayfield into mistakes.
Another offensive line with questions is the Titans. Star left tackle Taylor Lewan is suspended for the first four games of the NFL season. When you’re facing off against Myles Garrett and Oliver Vernon that is less than ideal. The Titans need to evaluate quarterback Marcus Mariota this season, that evaluation can’t happen if he gets knocked out of the game injured.
Final Score Browns 35 – 24 Titans
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers
With Andrew Luck retiring on the eve of the season, the Colts are in a slight flux heading into week one. Starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett is a bit of an unknown quantity, he has talent around him and is in a position to succeed. The only question that remains is whether he has the talent to lead a team. Reigning defensive rookie of the year Darius Leonard set a high watermark for performances in year one, some regression towards the mean should be expected.
Their opponents the Chargers have offensive line questions, this unit is shaping up to be one of the worst in the league. This coupled with an immobile ageing quarterback could lead to the bolts underperforming this season. Couple this with the loss of star safety Derwin James and this game is there for the taking for the Colts.
Final Score Colts 15 – 21 Chargers
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints were one play away from the Super Bowl in their last action. It has been the same case two years in a row. Their window is now closing in what could be Drew Brees’s last season. Consequently I expect the Saints to start fast against a Texans team with major concerns in the secondary.
The Texans are set up for a shootout. Deshaun Watson is an MVP calibre quarterback and the team has weapons around him. In addition new left tackle Laremy Tunsil could be the blindside protection that’s been missing since Watson was drafted. If I had to pick an upset in the AFC South week one games. I’d pick the Texans to beat New Orleans in a shootout.
Final Score Texans 44 – 42 New Orleans
Photo – USA Today