Colts' Eric Ebron: 'I Respect the Jaguars ... We Are Not Losing the AFC South'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs a drill at the team's NFL football training facility, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron isn't short on confidence heading into the 2019 NFL season.

"I respect the Jaguars, don't get me wrong, but we are not losing the AFC South this year, I'm sorry," Ebron told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Eric Ebron @Ebron85

Facts. https://t.co/hdayNI8LpE

Ebron may have purposefully shaded the reigning AFC South champion Houston Texans, who are arguably the biggest thing standing between the Colts and a division title.

Much of Jacksonville's elite defense returns, but it's unclear whether quarterback Nick Foles is a big enough upgrade to take the Jaguars from five wins in 2018 to the playoffs a season later.

Houston went 11-5 last year, although questions remain about a secondary that has to replace Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu and an offensive line that allowed an NFL-high 62 sacks.

Generally speaking, Ebron is right to view the Colts as the favorites to take the AFC South.

Indianapolis sat third in Bleacher Report's preseason power rankings. Andrew Luck was again one of the NFL's best quarterbacks last season, throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. More importantly, the Colts climbed to 10th in defensive efficiency, up from 27th the year before, per Football Outsiders.

Ebron could wind up with egg on his face if Indianapolis fails to finish atop the division, but it's hard to argue with his stance at the moment.