The NFL next year should be exciting to watch. Many players are returning from injury, fans are allowed in the stands, and an additional game was added. That being said, there are a lot of unanswered questions for each team. Not all of our questions will be addressed before the season begins, but some will be answered in training camps, which begin on July 27 for most teams. That being said, I’ll be going over the most pressing questions for all 32 teams as training camps begin. These articles will be released by division, so be on the lookout for your favorite team. The AFC South next season will be interesting to watch, as there’s many young players on all the teams.
Indianapolis Colts- Who’s going to be the starting QB?
The new starter in Indy, Carson Wentz, was recently injured and will be out 5-12 weeks. With 2019 starter Jacoby Brissett gone and Philip Rivers retired, they don’t have a good option at QB. Jacob Eason has been leading the 1st team offense in camp and is the presumed starter if they don’t acquire another QB. Eason was a 4th round pick in 2020, and his current competition for the starting job is rookie Sam Ehlinger, Brett Hundley, and Jalen Morton. Hundley has the most NFL experience out of the 4, but I think the job is Eason’s to lose unless they acquire a better QB. As for trade targets at QB, I think the best option is Nick Foles. Foles has a connection with Reich, knows the offense, and is currently the 3rd string on the Bears. The Colts’ success next season will depend on good QB play.
Houston Texans- How bad are the Texans without Watson?
Last season the Texans had a disappointing 4-12 record and ended up 3rd in the AFC South. To make things even worse, JJ Watt and likely Deshaun Watson won’t play for the team next year. Watson was where most of the offense’s production came from, so how bad would they be without him. We can assume that 5-12 is their ceiling, given they’ve performed similarly with and without Watson. My record prediction for them is 2-15. The only games I can see this team winning are home against the Jaguars and an upset against the Colts. Their running game is subpar, their defense is terrible, so it’s hard to say they can have much success. If Watson doesn’t go to jail plays for the Texans next season, I can see them winning at least 5 games. Watson is a difference-maker on their offense, and without him, they’ll struggle.
Tennessee Titans- Can the defense make a difference?
In recent years, the Titans have had a lot of success, but it has been carried by a terrific offense led by Derrick Henry. However, on the defensive side of the ball, they placed 29th in DVOA and 9th in points allowed last season. This offseason, they made several defensive additions, including Bud Dupree, Janoris Jenkins, and rookie Caleb Farely. The Titans’ defense, in general, is made up of young, inexperienced guys who have yet to contribute regularly, but that should change next season. To fully compete in the AFC, the Titans’ defense must make big plays while helping the team rather than hurting it. Their offense will be scoring lots of points next season. Only time will tell how their defense will perform.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Who will be given the most snaps at RB?
In one of the more confusing picks of the 2021 draft, the Jaguars selected Clemson RB Travis Etienne to compete with incumbent starter James Robinson. Last season, Robinson was an undrafted rookie who racked up 1414 yards from scrimmage in only 14 games. On the other hand, Etienne was chosen by a new coaching staff, and his draft capital suggests he’ll see more action than Robinson. This duo is likely to be comparable to Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in New Orleans. Robinson is the more pure runner, akin to Ingram, and Etienne is the pass-catching hybrid back. As Etienne gets more comfortable in the Jaguars system, Robinson will likely have a 60/30 split with him, with Etienne taking most of the snaps. In the future, Robinson could even be traded as Etienne takes over full time, so it’s a situation worth watching.