2023 AFC South Win Totals Projections

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Next up in our win totals series sees us analyze AFC South win totals. The 2023 NFL season is edging closer and closer. Pre-season starts on August 3 in the Hall of Fame game as the New York Jets take on the Cleveland Browns. It finally feels like the 2023 season is upon us and the beginning of training camps signals the official start of the 2023 campaign!

Gone are these past stars of the AFC South
Gone are these past stars of the AFC South

The AFC South does not currently look like one of the stronger divisions in the NFL. It contains the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. Only the Jags finished the 2022 season with a +.500 record. However, there is still plenty of potential surrounding each team.

It’s time to investigate AFC South Win Totals 

Although the AFC South looks like one of the weaker divisions in the conference, there is plenty to delve into. From exciting rookies, new head coaches and trades, the division has some big potential. How will AFC South win totals look this year?

Can Trevor Lawrence continue in his upward trajectory with the Jags? How will DeMeco Ryans do in his maiden head coach role at the Texans? Will the Colts put their trust in young QB Anthony Richardson? How will D Hop perform in Tennessee?

Before we move on, take a look at last week’s article where we broke down 2023 AFC North win totals.

Houston Texans – AFC South Win Totals

  • AFC South Win Totals: 5.5 
  • 2022 Record: 3-13-1 

The Houston Texans went 3-13-1 under Lovie Smith in 2022. They have failed to get more than five wins in any of their last three seasons in the NFL. However, can new head coach DeMeco Ryans turn things around? How will new draft picks C. J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. impact AFC South win totals?

This division is wide open and wouldn’t take a lot for a team to come out of nowhere and lead it at season’s end. Maybe this young Texans squad with an up and coming coach can surprise. Let’s see if they made enough changes.

Do the Texans finally have a QB? How C.J. Stroud can impact AFC South win totals 

So, it appears that the Texans finally have a quarterback. They drafted C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick in the 2023 draft. He threw for 3688 yards, 41 touchdowns and six interceptions in his final season in college at Ohio State. He also had an incredibly successful 2021 college season. Back-to-back impressive seasons at the collegiate level indicate that Stroud could be set up for great success in the NFL. 

Quarterback has been an issue now for the Texans for some time. They largely rolled with third round pick Davis Mills last season as he started 15 regular season games. He failed to really impress, however. He threw 17 touchdowns last season but also had 15 picks.

Mills was unable to push on after showing some promising signs during his rookie campaign. He won just five games for the Texans out of 28 games. The offense tied for the second worst points on average in the NFL last season – alongside AFC South rivals the Colts. The hope now is that Stroud can elevate the Texans offense and improve their AFC South win totals. 

How much of an impact can new OC Bobby Slowik make?

New offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik could play a big role in impacting AFC South win totals. He had been working on the San Francisco 49ers offense over the last few years to great success. 

His run-heavy scheme with the 49ers made the most out of star running back Christian McCaffrey. That could mean that Dameon Pierce has a huge season ahead of him for 2023. 

Pierce had a solid rookie season last year for the Texans. He started 13 games and rushed for 939 yards and four touchdowns. He exploded in Week 4 against the LA Chargers, rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown. Injuries slowed him down towards the tail end of the campaign, but the 23-year-old is set for a big year. 

Slowik should help to get the most out of Stroud too, considering how well Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy performed last year in San Francisco. The offense could also see a lot of play action usage. Stroud was incredibly effective on play action during college. He had a QB rating of 139.0, completing 69.1% of his passes. 

DeMeco Ryans to succeed as a head coach?

DeMeco Ryans will now undertake his first head coaching role at the Texans. His last job was with the San Francisco 49ers. He was their defensive coordinator for the 2021 and 2022 NFL seasons. His 2022 season at the 49ers was incredibly impressive. That saw them give up the second least rushing yards across the entire league last year and allowed the least total yards per game. 

Ryans has also worked with Slowik during his tenure with the 49ers, so the coaching staff have already established a good relationship. Good coordinators don’t always work out as great head coaches, however, and so there still needs to be caution. Just look at Nathaniel Hackett with the Denver Broncos last season. 

Stroud and Anderson Jr. are sure to have a say in AFC South win totals
Stroud and Anderson Jr. are sure to have a say in AFC South win totals

A big plus, though, is that Ryans has added an elite pass-rusher in Will Anderson Jr. with the third overall pick in the 2023 draft. He could be a big piece on the roster and one that Ryans will hope to build his defense around. Anderson Jr. recorded a total of 27.5 sacks in his final two seasons with Alabama. 

Houston Texans Current AFC South Win Totals: 5.5

Things are looking up for the Texans. There are plenty of signs that could indicate huge progression, particularly after the draft and with promising coaching changes. However, there are still too many questions surrounding the team for them to pick up six wins next year. 

Best Bet: Under 5.5 wins

Tennessee Titans – AFC South Win Totals

  • AFC South Win Totals: 7.5 
  • 2022 Record: 7-10

The Tennessee Titans have picked up eight or more wins in six out of the last seven seasons. They won back-to-back divisional titles in 2020 and 2021, picking up 11 and 12 wins respectively. 

However, they are on the back of a down year last year and it looks tough for the Titans to turn things around this season. Will their changes be enough to keep them in the playoff conversation for this season?

How will DeAndre Hopkins affect AFC South win totals? 

With a miserable looking receiving corps, the Titans signed DeAndre Hopkins during the offseason after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals back in May. The 31-year-old has not managed to get over 1000 receiving yards in any of his past two seasons. However, he started just nine games last season due to suspension.

D Hop and King Henry will have a say in AFC South win totals
D Hop and King Henry will have a say in AFC South win totals

The Cards tried to trade their star receiver but couldn’t find a suitable trading partner. That led to his release. Perhaps Hopkins is past his best as an elite receiver in the NFL. He only started ten games for the 2021 season and missed the playoffs due to injury. 

However, his lack of playing time over the last couple of years could bode well and means that he has plenty left in the tank. He has still proven to be a top quality talent when on the field and will likely influence AFC South win totals. 

There has been talk all offseason that the Titans don’t have any WRs. They have now added D Hop which is a huge help and should complement 2022 18th overall pick Treylon Burks, who is yet to really leave his mark on the league. However, the receiving corps still looks weak, overall. 

A poor O-Line

Despite the Titans adding 11th overall pick Peter Skoronski for extra help on the O-line, there are still huge concerns regarding the protection. There was a big need to improve due to the awful O-line last year. It was the worst in the NFL in terms of passing-blocking grade, per PFF.

Skoronski should be able to help improve the situation. But it may take time for him to reach his potential … and there are plenty of holes across the O-line. 

Of course, the injury to three-time Pro-Bowler Taylor Lewan for the majority of last season played a big role. He has not been re-signed either and they have also lost tackle Nate Davis who had proven to be a very solid and consistent piece on the Tennessee O-line. With no other major additions to the O-line, it will likely struggle again next season. 

Too many question marks at QB

Head coach Mike Vrabel will be set to oversee an interesting quarterback battle during pre-season. The Titans drafted Will Levis with the 33rd overall pick in the 2023 draft. He had success in college under a power run, play action scheme, so he could be the future of the franchise. 

There isn’t too much pressure on him right now since Ryan Tannehill is still on the roster and will likely be the starter heading into Week One. The Titans also drafted Malik Willis in the third round of last year’s draft, but he failed to impress last season. 

They will continue to have a run-heavy approach with Derrick Henry leading the offense, especially due to their weak receiving options. Albeit, that has improved with the signing of Hopkins.

Nevertheless, Henry is now 29-years-old and rushed for over 1500 yards last season. How long can he keep going? How many more times can he take such big hits time and time again? Henry’s 2023 performances will definitely have an impact on AFC South win totals. 

Tennessee Titans Current AFC South Win Totals: 7.5 

Once again, it looks as though King Henry will have to carry the Tennessee offense. He should still make a huge impact on the team, but time is running out. After a poor season last year and plenty of issues surrounding the O-line and at quarterback, it looks likely the Titans will struggle again this year.

Best Bet: Under 7.5 wins

Indianapolis Colts – AFC South Win Totals

  • AFC South Win Totals: 6.5 
  • 2022 Record: 4-12-1

The Indianapolis Colts have had 7+ wins in the last nine out of 11 seasons. However, Frank Reich failed to deliver for the franchise last season. Plus, the acquisition of Matt Ryan proved to be an utter disaster. However, how can new QB Anthony Richardson impact AFC South win totals? Will star running back Jonathan Taylor still be in Indy?

These are some serious questions that Indy fans want to know. These question are sure to affect AFC South win totals as well.

When will the Colts put their faith in Anthony Richardson?

The Indy offense was incredibly poor last year. They closed the season tied second for least points in the entire NFL. Matty Ice failed to deliver and his time in the NFL appears to be over. But now, it looks like Anthony Richardson could be the future of the Colts franchise. 

Richardson was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 draft after impressing hugely in the combine. The former Florida Gators quarterback had been projected to go later in the draft. He is still incredibly raw having started just 13 games throughout his college career. However, in his final year, he threw for 2549 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 654 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 6.3 yards per rush. 

It was his elite athletic ability that saw NFL teams and the Colts attracted to Richardson. They drafted him ahead of Levis, who was projected to go inside the top ten by some. 

Richardson has recently signed a $34 million contract as a rookie and the 21-year-old is set to be the future of the franchise. Although, he may not be ready to be QB1 yet. Gardner Minshew will likely be the starter come Week One, but it will be interesting to see how Richardson develops over the season.

How can new head coach Shane Steichen affect AFC South win totals? 

New Colts head coach Shane Steichen was offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021 & 2022. He played a big role in the development of Jalen Hurts and improved his ability as a passer. He is set to work with a similar quarterback in Richardson. 

Richardson’s dual-threat and physical capabilities are salivating for Colts fans. They have had to endure the painfully slow and immobile Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan over the past three seasons. 

Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 232-pounds, Richardson caught the eye at the NFL combine. He outperformed all other QBs in terms of the 40-yard dash (4.43), vertical jump (40.5“) and broad jump (10’ 9”). Steichen could play a massive role in fine tuning Richardson, especially in the passing game. 

The future of Jonathan Taylor is key 

Success for the Colts and AFC South win totals will also be determined by the future of running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor exploded during the 2021 season and rushed for 1811 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, was only able to start 11 games last year due to injuries. Taylor wasn’t able to rush for more than 1000 yards.

Where Taylor plays will affect AFC South win totals
Where Taylor plays will affect AFC South win totals

Latest reports have stated that Taylor has requested a trade after meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay. Nevertheless, Irsay has insisted that his star running back will not be traded. Taylor’s future will have a huge say on the Colts offense and AFC South win totals. 

Indianapolis Colts Current AFC South Win Totals: 6.5

The Colts will need time to develop the roster and they certainly appear to be focusing on the future of the franchise with their pick of Richardson. The offense needs to drastically improve if they are able to get at least seven wins but that may be a step too far for 2023. 

Best Bet: Under 6.5 wins

Jacksonville Jaguars – AFC South Win Totals

  • AFC South Win Totals: 9.5 
  • 2022 Record: 9-8

Is Urban Meyer the worst NFL coach of all-time? Fortunately, the Jags are way, way past his issues. Trevor Lawrence was able to take huge strides last year after the ‘generational talent’ hype and he vastly improved from his rookie season. Can Doug Pederson and co. continue to perform? 

T Law is the man – his performances play a big role in AFC South win totals

T Law’s rookie year saw him throw 3641 yards for 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, with a passer rating of just 71.9. However, last year saw a huge improvement. He completed 66.3% of his passes (a 6.7% increase), threw 4113 yards for 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Lawrence finished 2022 with a passer rating of 95.2. 

Jags fans will certainly remember their Wild Card round playoff match against the Chargers. It was a first half to forget for the Jags as they went down 27-0 and had five turnovers. Lawrence had also thrown four interceptions.

However, the character that he showed was truly remarkable. He went on to throw four touchdowns himself to lead the comeback for his side. That included a nine-yard TD for Christian Kirk in the final quarter before Lawrence completed the two-point conversion to make it a three-point game. 

If Lawrence’s resilience and test of character in that game wasn’t enough to prove he can succeed as a quarterback in the NFL, then I don’t know what will! His talent will play a big role in AFC South win totals. 

What a difference a good head coach makes!

Doug Pederson certainly proved his quality as a head coach last year. I suppose anyone would have been an upgrade on Meyer.

However, the Jags have won more than nine games just once over the past 15 years. After going 3-7 before their Week 11 bye, the Jags went 6-1 to win the division last year for just their second ever divisional title. History is not on their side. But they certainly seem to be the best team in the AFC South right now. 

The additions of Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd have proven to be successful after they put in solid rookie seasons. They will be expected to push on once again this season. 

Lawrence will also be getting extra protection on the O-line this year after they drafted tackle Anton Harrison with the 28th overall pick. Lawrence was poor against pressure last season with a PFF grade of just 29 under pressure. Clearly the Jags have looked to address that issue.

How skill position additions can impact AFC South win totals

Former first round pick Calvin Ridley is set to return too after the end of his suspension. Can the wide receiver return to the heights of 2020 and impact AFC South win totals? He had over 1300 receiving yards for nine touchdowns at the Atlanta Falcons. However, he has missed the last two seasons due to suspension as a result of gambling.

Addition of Ridley will help Jags go over their AFC South win totals
Addition of Ridley will help Jags go over their AFC South win totals

His return could help diversify the receiving corps. Kirk had a fantastic year in his first season in Jacksonville. He managed to get 1108 receiving yards for eight touchdowns. The addition of Ridley could help open up the offense even further. 

The Jags have also added running back Tank Bigsby in the third round of the 2023 draft to help out Travis Etienne. Etienne had a good year last year after he was injured for the 2021 season. He rushed for over 1000 yards and five touchdowns. With the support of Bigsby in the run game and Ridley making his return, the Jags offense is looking incredibly dynamic with strong depth. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Current AFC South Win Totals: 9.5

The end of last season for the Jags proved they have the talent. Pederson was able to get things going and will look to carry that momentum into the new season. The Jags appear to be the strongest team in the division and should be in line for more success in 2023. 

Best Bet: Over 9.5 wins

AFC South Win Totals – FAQ

How are AFC South win totals set?

Sportsbooks will set a projection for each team’s win totals prior to the beginning of the season. It is projecting how many wins they think a specific team will get over the course of the regular season. Bettors will be able to bet on either over or under the total.

Can recent history impact AFC South win totals?

Looking at a team’s recent history can be important when determining a good bet for AFC South win totals. For example, the Tennessee Titans have managed to get more than eight wins in six out of their last seven seasons in the NFL. However, they failed to get over seven wins last season. It is important to look at a wide array of factors before deciding whether to back the over or under.

Who are the favorites to lead AFC South win totals in 2023?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the current favorites to go on and lead AFC South win totals for 2023 at -175. That is largely due to the fact they won the AFC South last season and were the only team to have a winning record in the division.

Which players will affect the AFC South the most?

That is a question asked by many experts and fans alike. The most common names include Anthony Richardson, DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry and of course, Jonathan Taylor.

Will the Jaguars lead the AFC South in wins?

Just because most sportsbooks have Jacksonville atop AFC South win totals lists doesn’t mean they will have the most wins. Check your sportsbook’s odds and weight value for each team.