The Falcons will potentially start a rebuild a little bit earlier than they expected, while the Titans are going all in to win the conference and make it to their first Super Bowl since 1999.
Fans and team executives alike are left trying to wrap their head around the deal, and where this leaves the Titans in the grand scheme of the AFC and in their division.
As the dust settles around the division and the league, let’s take a closer look at how the AFC South figures to shake out after the Jones trade.
4. Houston Texans
As it stands right now, there aren’t many positive developments happening for the Houston Texans.
They have a superstar quarterback signed to an enormous contract, who allegedly no longer wants to play for the team while he’s embroiled in serious legal trouble.
No one really knows what’s going to happen with Deshaun Watson off the field with the allegations, or how the league might come down on the quarterback in the way of a suspension.
At best, Texans fans will have to hope the team plays hard for new head coach David Culley.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Even though the 2021 season doesn’t figure to result in a playoff berth for the Jacksonville Jaguars, they’ve got a lot of intriguing pieces on their roster.
This season will mostly be about his development, but hopes will be relatively high considering how highly touted of a prospect he is.
On defense, linebacker Myles Jack hopes to be the centerpiece of a revitalized unit.
2. Indianapolis Colts
It’s been a long process, but the Indianapolis Colts have slowly been building up to the level which they find themselves now.
Since the drafting of guard Quenton Nelson in 2018, their offensive line has completely transformed into one of the better units in the game.
In the meantime, they’ve also done an excellent job building up a fearsome front seven on defense, and appear to have a keeper at running back with Jonathan Taylor.
The Colts definitely figure to vie for a playoff spot in the AFC, and how far they go will be determined by whether embattled signal-caller Carson Wentz can recapture the magic he had with Frank Reich in Philadelphia.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) June 5, 2021
1. Tennessee Titans
It was possible that even before their monster acquisition of Jones, the Titans were the favorites in the AFC South.
Now that the seven-time Pro-Bowler is part of the equation, it catapults them to the clear-cut pole position in the division.
Running back Derrick Henry already posed significant problems for defenses who tried to stack the box against him.
With Jones and wide receiver A.J. Brown on the outside now, it’s unclear how teams will decide to attack the Titans offense.
"We have to put the work in first. We can't just be the best team on paper."
Big boost with Julio Jones but Titans know it's time to put in the work 📰 » https://t.co/ERZvnCqKjI
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) June 7, 2021
Regardless of what defenses do, it seems like too much to ask to limit all three Pro-Bowlers while they’re on the field together at the same time.
While the sky might not actually be the limit with the Kansas City Chiefs still in the conference, Tennessee should have a stellar regular season and jostle for the conference’s top overall seed.