INDIANAPOLIS – In a league defined by parity, teams dream to be in a division as sorry as the AFC South.
The Colts have lived that dream, but yet have been unable to seize such a golden opportunity.
What is the state of the AFC South?
Currently, the Colts (2-2-1) are the Vegas favorites to win the division, despite having not won any of their 3 divisional games so far. And the over/under on wins for the Colts this season is pegged at 8, so an 8-8-1 division champ is what is being predicted for the AFC South.
The AFC South is the only division in the AFC with three of four teams having a point differential of negative 13 or worse.
And this comes just one year after the South won 7 games fewer than any other AFC division did.
2022 AFC South Standings
- Titans (3-2)
- Colts (2-2-1)
- Jaguars (2-3)
- Texans (1-3-1)
As the Colts return from their mini-bye, a massive two-week stretch awaits in the AFC South.
The Colts will host the Jaguars on Sunday, looking for a season split after being shutout by Jacksonville in Week 2. Frank Reich’s team will then travel to Nashville a week from Sunday to try and avoid a season sweep by the Titans.
If the Colts get 2 wins, they’ll be atop the AFC South before Halloween.
A split, and the Colts will have been swept by a key divisional foe as the mid-way point of the season arrives.
Lose both, and the Colts will be winless in their first 5 AFC South games this season, and once again in position to miss out on winning such a reasonable division.
It’s been 7 straight seasons without a division title.
Entering 2022, many believed that drought would win.
The Jaguars and Texans had just come off seasons in which they drafted 1 and 3 overall, respectively, had fired their head coaches and needed to see much more from their second-year QBs.
Tennessee, the defending AFC South champ, made the head scratching decision this spring to trade away dynamic wideout A.J. Brown. While teams like the 49ers, Seahawks and Commanders settled contract issues with their star wideouts, the Titans parted ways with the division’s best wideout. And then in the last month and a half the Titans have lost two of their best players to season-ending knee injuries. To make matters worse, Harold Landry and Taylor Lewan play two extremely important positions in edge pass rusher and left tackle.
Add up all of that, and the Colts are sitting here with another beautiful chance to win the division, and host their first playoff game since January 2015.
The division the Colts annually dominated in its first decade (Chuck Pagano’s Colts won 16 straight divisional games during the 2012-15 seasons) has eluded Jim Irsay’s franchise for 7 seasons.
It’s never been more there for the taking though.
And after missing out on two wins over Houston and Jacksonville to start the season, plus losing to the Titans at home in Week 4, the Colts must take advantage of what is here the next two weeks
If not, and if the AFC South crown once again heads elsewhere this year, then consequences should be there for a regime continually squandering such divisional dreams.