After winning the AFC South, the Texans offseason was highlighted by complete stupidity. They traded away DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best wide receivers in the league, for virtually nothing. This is a topic for another time. What is relevant now is how much the Texans are losing. Hopkins was routinely double and sometimes triple covered. Defensive play calls were centered around Hopkins. Without Hopkins, teams have much more flexibility with their defensive play calls. The Texans did bring Brandin Cooks in the offseason. Obviously Cooks doesn’t make up for Hopkins, the Texans don’t have a completely depleted receiving corps. The Texans are led by fourth-year quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson is going to be under a lot of scrutiny to see how he will perform without Hopkins. With that said, Watson is a talented quarterback. He is very mobile and is great at extending plays.
The Titans went on a cinderella run in the 2019 playoffs. They knocked off the Patriots and Ravens, while on the road, before losing to the Chiefs. The Titans offseason was focused around retaining their players. They gave Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry an extension. This wasn’t the greatest decision. When Tannehill took over as quarterback midseason, the Titans started to run the ball as much as they could. They didn’t want Tannehill throwing the football. But, this worked.
Henry led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and was fourth in yards per carry, behind reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, and Raheem Mostert. The Titans are going to be relying on the bulldozing Henry in 2020. Defensively the Titans defense was outstanding down the stretch, including holding the Ravens offense to just 12 points. To give this some context, the Ravens were held to under 30 points, only six times in the regular season, and they were never held to less than 20 until the playoff game against the Titans. The Titans just signed Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney doesn’t put up the best stats, but his impact is felt every play.
The Colts weren’t all that great in 2019. They will be great in 2020. The Colts relied on Jacoby Brissett to be their quarterback last year. In the offseason, they signed veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers has been impressive in training camp. He has gelled with his teammates, and he is showing great chemistry with his receivers. The Colts also signed DeForest Buckner. Buckner was a key part of the defensive line in 49ers 2019 run. Additionally, they signed Trey Burton and Xavier Rhodes while drafting Jonathan Taylor. The Colts are revamped and ready to make a run.
The Jaguars made a franchise-altering decision in the offseason when they traded Nick Foles to the Bears. They had signed Foles to a hefty contract the previous offseason, and now they were turning the ship over to Gardner Minshew. The Jaguars are in the middle of a rebuild. They’ve traded or cut practically every player from their 2017 roster which was one quarter away from a Super Bowl appearance. The Jaguars have very few players who will be able to help out their second-year quarterback. The Jaguars aren’t going to mediocre in 2020. They’re going to be horrific. They’ve got practically no talent. But their goal isn’t to win now. They are going to be trusting their process, as they attempt to rebuild their franchise.