The AFC South division of the NFL isn’t the worst division in football, but its not a real threat either. Despite two teams making the playoffs each of the last two seasons, the stigma remains. The Texans, Colts, Titans, and Jaguars aren’t considered to be Super Bowl contenders.
Through the first five weeks of the season, the AFC South is the only division with all 3-2 or 2-3 teams. This might be seen as a result of too much intra-breeding. The teams play one another, and no one stands out. Through five weeks the division has one significant victory; the Colts 19-13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday night.
AFC South – A Recent History
The Houston Texans finished 11-5 last season, but due to the poor playoff scheduling, that pit same-division teams in the wild-card game. The Texans lost to division rival Indianapolis 21-7. The Colts qualified for the wild-card berth with a 10-6 record, but after beating the Texans, they lost in the divisional playoffs to the Chiefs, 31-13.
The other two AFC South squads made the playoffs at the end of the 2017 season. The Jacksonville Jaguars won the division with a 10-6 record. The Tennessee Titans barely snagged a wild-card slot at 9-7. The Titans took out the Chiefs, 22-21, before losing to the New England Patriots, 35-14.
The Jaguars actually made a significant playoff run, beating the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers before bowing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, 24-20. The Jags led the Patriots 20-10 early in the 4th quarter, only to fall victim to two Tom Brady drives late in the game.
2016-17 and 2015-16
The Houston Texans won the division in two consecutive seasons with 9-7 records. They did win the wild-card game in 2016, but that was the extent of the AFC South’s playoff wins for those two seasons.
The last AFC South Super Bowl appearance was by the 14-2 Indianapolis Colts after the 2009-10 season. They lost Super Bowl XLIV to the New Orleans Saints, 31-17.
The Colts were the only AFC South Super Bowl champion in 2006-07. They beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 on a rainy Sunday in Miami behind MVP quarterback Peyton Manning.
Remaining AFC South Schedules
Take out the 18 remaining divisional games left on the AFC South schedules and just look at the non-divisional games. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a much easier schedule the rest of the way. While they do face the Saints and the Raiders, those are the only two winning teams left on their schedule outside the AFC South. The Jags also get the winless Jets and Bengals, and the one win Falcons.
The Houston Texans, still the oddsmakers pick to win the division, have to play the Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders and Ravens, all teams with winning records.
Odds to Make the Playoffs – Win the AFC South
Houston Texans 57% Make Playoffs 42% Division winner
Indianapolis Colts 52% Playoffs 38% Division winner
Jacksonville Jaguars 20% Playoffs 10% Division winner
Tennessee Titans 19% Playoffs 10% Division winner