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NFL AFC South: Identifying Potential Busts
July 27, 2023
The AFC South, comprised of the Jaguars, Titans, Colts, and Texans, was one of the weakest divisions in the NFL
last year. However, things might change this season and make things intriguing. Despite the potential
improvement, doubts still surround certain players, which could impact NFL Lines. Let’s analyze four realistic
potential busts that could occur in the AFC South for a variety of reasons.
Zay Jones could be the odd man out in Jacksonville. Zay Jones impressed the Jacksonville Jaguars with his
performance after signing a three-year, $24 million contract in free agency last season, which might put him in
an uncomfortable position very soon. However, with Calvin Ridley returning from suspension, one of Jones,
Christian Kirk, or Evan Engram is likely to lose targets and become less relevant in the offense. Jones
struggled with drops, ranking second in the league with nine. He also didn’t excel in any particular area,
ranking 30th in route win rate. While he had a career year in a good offense, it may have been more due to his
role rather than a true breakout season.
Andre Dillard’s contract with the Titans raises questions. The Tennessee Titans made significant changes to
their offensive line, with Andre Dillard being their biggest financial commitment. They signed the former
Eagles tackle to a three-year, $29 million contract. However, Dillard’s playing time has been limited, with only
37 offensive snaps in 2022. He struggled to secure a starting role with the Eagles, and despite playing well in
2021, his limited experience raises concerns about his ability to be a long-term answer at left tackle which
obviously hinders with potential. The contract given to Dillard is a substantial gamble, considering his lack of
consistent playing time compared to other starting tackles.
Anthony Richardson may not be the immediate solution for the Colts. While there are reasons to be optimistic
about Anthony Richardson’s long-term potential, expecting immediate success may be premature. Comparisons to
Jalen Hurts are drawn due to the similarities in their ceiling within Shane Steichen’s system in Indianapolis.
However, Hurts only started four games as a rookie and faced doubters until his third year. Richardson had
significantly fewer pass attempts in college, and his starting experience is limited to one season. The
Indianapolis Colts haven’t named a Week 1 starter, and while Richardson’s potential is immense, his lack of
experience suggests that expectations should be kept relatively low for his rookie season.
Kenyon Green’s underwhelming rookie season raises concerns for the Texans. Sometimes a tough rookie season can be
a learning experience that leads to improvement in the following year. However, in Kenyon Green’s case, his
rookie year may be indicative of future struggles. Green’s rookie season was marked by a concerning
statistic—he had the unfortunate distinction of being responsible for the third-highest number of blown blocks
in the league, with a staggering 42 instances. These blown blocks highlight the challenges he faced in his debut
season and raise questions about his ability to perform consistently at the NFL level. Furthermore, these
struggles, coupled with his reduced playing time, indicate that Green’s development might require further
attention and improvement going forward. The combination of injuries and poor play in 2022 raises doubts about
his development and future performance for the Houston Texans.
By recognizing these potential busts in the AFC South, we can gain insights into players who may disappoint and
impact NFL Odds throughout the season.
Keep an eye on these names so you can make the most out of your bets in what again seems like the weakest
division in the American Football Conference.