The Jacksonville Jaguars have won the AFC South for the 2022 season, and that should make the Indianapolis Colts feel embarrassed.
On Saturday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Tennessee Titans 20-16. With the win, Jacksonville claimed the throne of the AFC South for this season and punched its ticket to the playoffs. Finishing 9-8, it is a miraculous turnaround for the team that had the No. 1 overall pick in the last two drafts. While the Jaguars’ triumph is great for them, it should serve as the latest embarrassment in a season of embarrassing moments for the Indianapolis Colts.
After being embarrassed by Jacksonville in Week 18 of the 2021 season, the Colts went back to the drawing board determined to reclaim their dominance of the AFC South. All offseason, it looked like that would be the case. Indianapolis was making the necessary moves to improve, and Tennessee was clearly regressing. This led to all experts predicting that this season would finally be the year Indy wins the AFC South for the first time since 2014. Everything in the division unfolded as expected, except Indy.
The AFC South quickly became the joke of the NFL because all of its teams were struggling. With Tennessee and Jacksonville already playing their final games of the regular season, they’ll finish the year with a 7-10 and 9-8 record, respectively. The 9-8 record was good enough to win the division and the Colts weren’t even good enough to compete with that.
Colts should be embarrassed by Jaguars’ turnaround
Considering the way Indianapolis has played this year, their season was going to be embarrassing either way. However, it probably would’ve been somewhat easier to stomach if the Titans just ran to another 11-win season and won the division. However, Jacksonville winning the AFC South with only nine wins will serve as a constant reminder of how open the division was and how much of a massive flop this season was for the Colts. With plenty of opportunities to be great, and a platform to establish the team as a threat in the league, Indy fumbled the season away.
If it’s anything good that could come out of this season, besides a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s that the Jaguars should’ve given Indianapolis all the motivation it needs to be aggressive in the offseason. This division win comes after Jacksonville went on a massive spending spree in free agency, a process that some criticized. However, they just bought themselves an AFC South championship and a playoff berth. That’s all that matters. No one will care about overpaying a few million for a receiver when that receiver is catching passes in the playoffs.
If this success from Jacksonville doesn’t put the battery in Chris Ballard’s back to make him change his conservative offseason approach, then the Colts should just prepare to continue seeing other teams win the division.