ESPN predicts Titans miss playoffs, Jaguars win AFC South in 2021

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Mike Moraitis
·2 min read
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After winning double-digit games and the AFC South in 2020, and after making the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, ESPN is predicting that the Tennessee Titans will miss the playoffs in 2021.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell made his predictions for all 14 playoff seeds for next season, and he has the Titans finishing on the outside looking in.

Here’s what he had to say about it:

The Tennessee Titans would be the highest-profile team to miss out on a return to the postseason. I’m concerned about Derrick Henry, who just finished the largest workload we’ve seen for a running back in recent memory. It’s tough to count on Henry to be quite as productive in 2021, and any absence or decline from the star back could impact the entire Tennessee offense. The Titans will also need to find a way to address their dismal pass rush despite entering the offseason $7 million over the projected cap.

So, who wins the AFC South in his eyes?

Believe it or not, it isn’t the Indianapolis Colts, either, but rather the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that went 1-15 this past season.

Barnwell believes the Jags will go from worst to first in the division, ultimately finishing with the No. 4 seed — talk about a bold prediction.

While the Urban Meyer-led Jaguars should be more competitive in 2021 thanks to their young talent, cap space and likely new franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, saying they’ll jump both the Titans and Colts, two teams that are more proven and have a better roster, is a stretch to say the least.

Even with a big question mark at quarterback right now, the Colts remain the Titans’ biggest threat in the division in 2021.

Furthermore, while the Titans will have a tough time improving their roster given their cap situation, the vast majority of Tennessee’s elite offense will return, and it was the offense that carried the team to a division title in 2020.

Here’s a look at Barnwell’s full 2021 playoff predictions for both conferences:

AFC

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

  2. Baltimore Ravens

  3. Miami Dolphins

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars

  5. Buffalo Bills

  6. Pittsburgh Steelers

  7. New England Patriots

NFC

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  2. Green Bay Packers

  3. Dallas Cowboys

  4. San Francisco 49ers

  5. Seattle Seahawks

  6. Atlanta Falcons

  7. Los Angeles Rams