Will the Jaguars keep their momentum and repeat as division champs in 2018? Our roundtable reporters give their picks for who will win the division and how many playoff teams will emerge from the AFC South.
Sarah Barshop, Houston Texans reporter: Jacksonville will win the division and the AFC South will produce one wild-card team, as it did last season. This division is much improved -- especially if quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson can stay healthy all season -- but Jacksonville is still the king thanks to its elite defense and stout running game. The reigning division champs improved when they gave Blake Bortles some protection -- All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell -- and last season's No. 2 defense is still mostly intact. The Texans and Titans will compete for a wild-card spot, but there will be enough competition in the division that not all three teams will make the playoffs.
Mike Wells, Indianapolis Colts reporter: Jacksonville will win the division for the second straight season, and the Texans will make the playoffs, too. Jacksonville has its core players back -- especially on defense -- from a team that was a few second-half mistakes from winning in New England in the AFC Championship Game. The front office gave Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette some help by signing Norwell. Watson will lead the Texans, who were ravaged by injuries last season, back to the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
Michael DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars reporter: The Jaguars had one of the best defenses in the NFL, and 12 of the top 14 players from that unit return in 2018. They also added Norwell to an offensive line that helped the Jaguars lead the NFL in rushing last season. Bortles is coming off his best season and had a very good offseason. Fournette dropped some weight and said he feels quicker and more explosive. For those reasons the Jaguars will repeat as division champs, even though their schedule is much tougher (New England and Pittsburgh at home and Super Bowl champ Philadelphia in London). Houston appears to have finally found its quarterback in Watson, though the hype right now is way over the top considering he started only six games last season before tearing his right ACL. If he has no issues in his return and plays at a level similar to what he did last season as a rookie, the Texans' offense can be explosive. The additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Aaron Colvin and the return of J.J. Watt make the defense significantly better, too. Houston makes the playoffs as a wild-card team.
Cameron Wolfe, Tennessee Titans reporter: The Titans win the AFC South for the first time since 2008, and the division gets three playoff teams -- Houston and Jacksonville as wild-card teams -- for the first time since 2007. Tennessee brought in a new coaching staff to lead an ascendant team that won a playoff game last season. The Titans filled many of their holes and should benefit from linking creative, smart offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur with playmaking quarterback Marcus Mariota. They are a sleeping contender ready to claim the division as long as their young talent progresses. Jacksonville's AFC-best defense and Houston's return of healthy stars will make it a tight three-team race, but the team with the fewest holes (Titans) wins it. The AFC might be the weakest it has been this decade and the AFC South is arguably the best overall division in the conference.