Predicting AFC South standings after 2024 NFL schedule release

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

Power Rankings are the essence of life. They're always in season, always ready to be improved upon. Without Power Rankings, we'd just be aimlessly wandering this earth with no purpose. They provide the order and stability we so desperately crave.

And because last week featured one (1) bit of somewhat notable NFL news, it's time to powerfully rank things. These are not to be confused with the pre-Draft Power Rankings, Post-Draft Power Rankings, or Rookie Minicamp Power Rankings. These are entirely different. Every piece of logic that existed before the schedule release is flawed, and needs remedying. So without further ado, here's your much anticipated AFC South standings, post schedule release edition.

Predicting AFC South standings after 2024 NFL schedule release



1. Houston Texans


2. Tennessee Titans


3. Jacksonville Jaguars


4. Indianapolis Colts


1. Houston Texans (12-5)

At the risk of indulging a little homerism, the Texans are pretty clearly the best team in the division. CJ Stroud's going to be an MVP candidate, they have three of the best wide receivers in football, and their defensive front features multiple stars. Their secondary is admittedly a bit suspect after Derek Stingley Jr., but if they can rush the passer the way that they're expected to, that shouldn't be as big a deal as it would be otherwise. An unlucky injury or two could derail everything, but the same could be said about any team. This is their division to lose, at least for the next 2-3 years.

2. Tennessee Titans (10-7)

We're about to see how much happiness money really can buy. Give Tennessee credit: they heard everyone talk about a lengthy rebuild coming and decided to just skip that step entirely. And on paper, they look sneaky good: Calvin Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins are going to make life awfully easy for Will Levis, and they turned what was one of the league's worst offensive lines into one that, at the very least, has a bunch of potential. Getting Chidobe Awuzie was a nice little under-the-radar move, and then trading for L'Jarius Sneed was just a flex. History's littered with unmemorable football teams that tried to buy their way out of irrelevancy, but I respect how much the Titans are just going for it.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)

Panic time in Jacksonville! The Jags are simply the latest example of how quickly things can go south for anyone. Just a few years ago they had one of the best young QBs in football, great skill players, and a young, talented defense. Now they have that QB and ... cool throwback jerseys. Doug Pederson's seat is as hot as any NFL coach's seat can get heading into 2024, and the division has sort of passed the Jags by. Maybe Brian Thomas Jr. is the answer – considering the other options are, uh, not totally inspiring, Jags fans better hope he is.

4. Indianapolis Colts (8-9)

If you wanted to switch the Colts and the Jaguars, I certainly wouldn't stop you. If you squint some, you can see how the Colts may wiggle their way into being a pain in the butt for Houston. Anthony Richardson flashed a bunch in the (admittedly very short) time he was healthy last season, and it seemed like the Colts' coaching staff knew exactly how to gameplan for a young, exciting QB who was still adjusting to pro football. They deserve credit for executing their offseason plan exactly how they wanted to, even if it was apparently just "run it back." Their defensive line is going to give other teams fits, and you can do a lot worse than Michael Pittman Jr. and Adonai Mitchell. Still, it feels like they're still a few years away.