Why the Titans have the upper hand on the Houston Texans

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Titans QB, Ryan Tannehill.

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Texans should fear the Titans.

The Houston Texans have finally lost control of the AFC South, and the Tennessee Titans can take advantage.

Recent history has been kind to the Houston Texans. They have been winners of the AFC South in four of the last five seasons, and they have six championships under their belt since the Titans won their last division crown in 2008.

The same can be said for the Houston Texans’ draft classes. While the previous three seasons haven’t been packed with highly regarded players— going back to the start of the 2010s, the Texans have brought in some truly great players. Stars like JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Deshaun Watson, and a recent headline grabber, DeAndre Hopkins.

For as long as the Tennessee Titans have been rebuilding and retooling their roster, the Houston Texans have kept busy as the class of the AFC South— a title they’ve earned. But as quickly as NFL empires fall, they get replaced.

The Texans’ AFC South dominance may have entered its final stage of collapse during the 2020 offseason, after quickly decaying over the last couple of seasons. The Tennessee Titans, on the other hand, find themselves sitting in the wings waiting to take the crown over. Over a decade of sitting in the weeds as a middling AFC South team unable to emerge from the shadow of the Colts and Texans, and now, the Titans might finally be ready to move up.

Because not only are the Titans ready to compete, but the reigning division champions might be weaker than they’ve been in years— with the exception of an injury-riddled 2017 campaign. Tennessee has built a roster about as complete as you’ll find in the NFL. And they’re ready to take the division from a Texans organization who spent the last three offseasons heading in reverse, and made their final, most fatal flaw in the offseason– trading away their star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

But the Hopkins trade was only the final straw in the collapse of a team that was once seen as the future of the league. To go back to where it all started, where Houston’s dynasty had reached its peak, you need to go back to 2018. A season where the Titans, despite a 9-7 record, looked far from ready to compete for the division or make a playoff run.

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