Post NFL Season Review of AFC South, 2022-23

Post NFL Season Review of AFC South, 2022-23
Sat 18th February 2023

After a thrilling season, the NFL is officially over for another year. So, the team at SportsTips thought it would be a good idea to go through every team in the AFC South, and have a look at the year that was!

Houston Texans

The 2022 season started promising for the Houston Texans with a tie against the Indianapolis Colts. But the Texans lost 12 of their next 13 games, including a nine-game losing skid, and finished at the bottom of the division with a 3-13-1 record. Houston has the second overall pick in this year’s draft and is expected to draft a franchise quarterback.

Houston fired head coach Lovie Smith after just one season and named San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as the new head coach. The 49ers passing game coordinator, Bobby Slowik, will reportedly be the Texans’ offensive coordinator next season, while Arizona Cardinals‘ defensive line coach Matt Burke will be the team’s defensive coordinator. The Texans are also bringing in Minnesota Vikings assistant Jerrod Johnson as their quarterbacks coach.

Quarterback Davis Mills threw for 3,118 yards and 17 touchdowns but also led the league with 15 interceptions. Rookie running back Dameon Pierce led the team with 939 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The fourth-round pick season ended prematurely with an ankle injury in Week 13. Veteran receiver Brandin Cooks caught a team-high 57 passes for 699 yards and three scores for an offensive unit that ranked 31st in total yards per game.

A trio of Texans – Jalen Pitre (147), Jonathan Owens (125), and Christian Kirksey (124) – tallied double-digit tackles for the NFL’s worst run defense. A 2022 second-round pick, Pitre also intercepted a team-high five passes. Former first-rounder Jerry Hughes paced the team with nine sacks, and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo finished with five. 

Indianapolis Colts

The 2022 Indianapolis Colts started the season slowly, with a 3-5-1 mark heading into Week 10. However, the Colts dropped their final seven games to finish in third place with a 4-12-1 record and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Indianapolis has tabbed Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to be its next head coach. Frank Reich was fired midway through this past season and replaced by former Colts center Jeff Saturday. The franchise has the fourth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and desperately needs an upgrade at quarterback. 

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 3,057 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in his first and final season with the Colts. Jonathan Taylor led the team with 861 yards and four scores despite missing five games with injuries. Third-year wideout Michael Pittman Jr. caught a career-high 99 passes for 925 yards and four touchdowns.

Linebacker Zaire Franklin was the leading tackler for a defensive unit that ranked 21st against opposing rushing attacks. Franklin finished fourth in the NFL with 167 tackles, while Bobby Okereke posted 149 tackles. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue led the team with 9.5 sacks, and DeForest Buckner took down eight quarterbacks. Former Yale standout Rodney Thomas II collected a team-best four interceptions.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars stumbled to a 3-7 mark to open the 2022 season before regrouping to win six of their final seven games. The Jaguars clinched their first AFC South title since 2017 with a 9-8 mark and knocked off the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card Round. However, Jacksonville lost to eventual Super Bowl LVII champion Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round.

The Jaguars have the third-worst salary cap situation in the NFL and are over the 2023 cap by $18.1 million. Tight end Evan Engram enjoyed a banner campaign and is in line for a two-year, $15 million deal. But cornerback Shaquill Griffin, defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins are potential salary cap casualties.

Former top overall pick Trevor Lawrence blossomed into a franchise quarterback and set career highs with 4,113 yards, and 25 touchdown passes. Running back Travis Etienne Jr., who missed his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury, led the team with 1,125 rushing yards. Christian Kirk was the top pass catcher with 84 receptions for 1,108 yards and eight scores, and Zay Jones caught 82 passes for 823 yards.

Linebacker Foyesade Oluokun led the league with 184 tackles, and rookie Devin Lloyd had 115 tackles. Lloyd, Rayshawn Jenkins, Andre Cisco, and Tyson Campbell tallied three interceptions apiece. Former first-rounder Josh Allen posted a team-high six sacks, while Dawuane Smoot and Arden Key collected five and 4.5 sacks, respectively.

Tennessee Titans

The 2022 Tennessee Titans raced out to a 7-3 start but lost their final seven games to finish the season in second place with a 7-10 record. The Titans suffered their first losing season since 2015 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

The Titans named Ran Carthon, the San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel, as their new general manager. The club finished the season with a league-high 23 players on injured reserve. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games, while former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Taylor Lewan played in just one game. Pro Bowl linebacker Harold Landry also missed the entire season with an ACL injury.

Tannehill threw for 2,536 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games but is at risk of being traded or a post-June 1 salary cap casualty due to a bloated contract. Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry led the league with 349 carries and finished second with 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns. Veteran wideout Robert Woods led the team with 53 catches for 527 yards and two scores.

Safety Kevin Byard paced the Titans with 106 tackles and picked off a team-high four passes. Denico Autry led the team with eight sacks, while Jeffrey Simmons and DeMarcus Walker tallied 7.5 and seven sacks, respectively.

Even though the season has finished, we’ve got you covered with all the latest information on the NFL! We keep you as up to date as possible, so you don’t miss any of the action this off-season.

Marvin is a self-confessed sports fanatic who is addicted to the NFL, MLB and CFB. He has a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports and absolutely loves gambling and making money on his favorite sports. He has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan since the 1970s and has been writing about sports for more than three decades. Whether he is making prop bets or choosing which teams will cover spreads, he is thrilled to provide relevant information for all of our readers.