Due to technical problems, part of my column from last week was not included. Therefore, we’ll get a double-dip of NFL predictions this week.
The AFC South may not be the weakest division but it could be the most messed-up. The team which looks to be the most organized, the Tennessee Titans, gets my nod as the best team. They have both personnel and coaching continuity and the best offensive talent in the division.
The Indianapolis Colts would have been there if Carson Wentz bounced back from a terrible year at Philadelphia. Unfortunately, he got injured yet again and who knows when he’ll be back. I’m wishing him the best because I root for players who get criticized by the national sports media inordinately. They do have the best defense in the division.
The Jacksonville Jaquars are starting over with new quarterback Trevor Lawrence and new head coach Urban Meyer. The latter has already blundered a couple of times, but I’m willing to give him a chance.
The Houston Texans went from being a division contender to the likely last-place finisher thanks to former general manager/head coach Bill O’Brien. Now, Deshawn Watson is in limbo thanks to the various civil suits filed against him and the team looks worse than the Jaquars.
The AFC North has three teams with a good shot at the playoffs. The first is the Cleveland Browns, the team with the most front-line talent in the division. The keys are keeping the offensive continuity going and shaping a revamped defense.
The next team is the Baltimore Ravens which will depend on how the passing game develops. They certainly worked on adding talent in that area.
The Pittsburgh Steelers picked a bad time last year to have a slump. However, I’m willing to give a team with its track record and talent a chance to rebound, with the caveat that the offensive line improved.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in the wrong division to make a drastic improvement in the standings. They do continue to make good progress.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com