AFC South power rankings: Who sits at the top ahead of Week 1?

AFC South, NFL Power Rankings -Houston Texans, Davis Mills - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
AFC South, NFL Power Rankings -Houston Texans, Davis Mills - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next
AFC South
AFC South, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) at Nissan Stadium. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

No. 3 team in the AFC South ahead of Week 1: The Tennesee Titans

. . . Tennessee Titans. 3. team. 35

This might be a bit of a shocker when you take into account that the Tennesee Titans seized the division last year but there’s a strong chance they’ll take a significant step back in 2022. For starters, running back Derrick Henry might not be as dominant as he was over the last three years.

Leaving aside the foot injury that sidelined him for nine games in 2021, the player known as the King has taken on an insane workload. In 44 games (including the postseason) dating back to 2019, he’s toted the rock 1,021 times. Had he managed to stay healthy last year, he would probably have surpassed the 1,150 hard. Eventually, all the wear and tear is going to affect Henry’s performance, and that could happen as soon as this year.

To make matters worse, the Titans traded A.J. Brown, who had a team-high 63 receptions for 869 yards last year, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a first-round selection. To fill the void, they drafted Traylor Burks and acquired Robert Woods for the Rams. But the former is an unknown while the latter is coming off a torn ACL, so it’s hard to tell what kind of impact they’ll have in Tennesse’s passing game this upcoming season.

Last but not least, Harold Landry is likely out for the year. The Titans still have Denico Autry and Jeffrey Simmons but replacing Landry’s production will be a tough task. While it’s too early to stick a fork in Tenessee, they’re facing several questions ahead of the 2022 season.