2018 AFC South Champ: Texans
The AFC South had the number one offensive line (Colts) according to raw performance stats in 2018. The Colts needed to rank among the top of the league to protect the perceived to be fragile Andrew Luck. Indianapolis made the playoffs under first-year head coach Frank Reich, and they are poised to continue to ascend in 2019.
The NFC South Champion Houston Texas won 11 games despite their last place offensive line ranking. The Texans OL spending ranked among the teams with six wins or less in the NFL (11%). The Texans won 11 games with a myriad of injuries on their roster and a Head coach (Bill O’Brien) on the hot seat. The Texans were supposed to have the easiest strength of schedule according to CBS in 2018, but they finished 2018 with the 4th toughest based on opponent W/L records. Pro Football References SRS SOS rankings show the Texans having also having an easier road to plow (4th) easiest based on their SRS rankings.
This division will be up for grabs in 2019. If the Texans are going to repeat as division champion, it will start with the offensive line improving after allowing Deshaun Watson to be sacked a league-high 62 times and hit 126 times in 2018. The Texans have begun the improvement process by picking up free agent tackle Matt Kalil a few weeks ago. Watson made NFL history in 2018 passing for 4000 yards and rushing for 500 more, but was often running for his life.
The AFC South OL spending against the cap average (11%) is heavily weighed down by the Jaguars 2% of spending. The Jaguars also ranked 30th in OL performance.
Current Texans OL on Roster Combined Player Rank
Top Five Paid OL On Current 2019 Roster