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Here is the 2021 Pro Football Betting Guide preview for the AFC South.
THE FAVORITE: TENNESSEE TITANS
The Titans were an improved team last season, winning the AFC South with an 11-5 record. But they fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs and were not able to duplicate their run to the AFC championship game in 2019. The biggest story of the Titans’ offseason was the addition of receiver Julio Jones. With Jones' 10-year career in Atlanta over, he will don jersey No. 2 to symbolize his career's second act. In Tennessee, he will line up opposite A.J. Brown, who has two 1,000-yard-plus seasons in his first two years in the NFL. The potential is there for a lethal offense when you combine Jones and Brown with Derrick Henry, who rushed for 2,027 yards last year and has back-to-back rushing titles. Henry is a throwback running back in an era in which the position has never had less value. Ryan Tannehill has proven to be much more than just an adequate quarterback.
The Titans defense needs to improve big time if they are going to take the next step. The unit ranked 29th in DVOA, per Football Outsiders, which is not surprising considering Tennessee had only 19 sacks last season. That’s why the Titans gambled on outside linebacker Bud Dupree coming back from an ACL injury. With Arthur Smith now the head coach in Atlanta, Todd Downing steps in as the offensive coordinator. Shane Bowen also was promoted to defensive coordinator. As the reigning division champion, it is justifiable to have Tennessee as the favorite, but the margin between the Titans and Indianapolis is paper-thin.
LIVE DOG: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The No. 1 question for the Colts was whether Frank Reich could fix Carson Wentz. Wentz had the best years of his young career under Reich as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. However, before Reich can fix Wentz, doctors are going to need to fix him as Wentz broke a bone in his foot in early August. He was initially ruled out for a period of five to 12 weeks, but rehab seems to be on schedule and there’s a chance he could be ready to go for the opener against Seattle. All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson had the same injury and is on the same timetable for a return. The decline in Philadelphia was not all on Wentz as his receiving corps and offensive line were decimated by injuries last season and the team infrastructure crumbled around him.