Entering the 2023 NFL season, just about everyone was ready to hand the AFC South division to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville won the division last season and the expectation was that they were primed to repeat. The Tennessee Titans were clearly declining and the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans were expected to have struggling, rebuilding years.
Now, with two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Jaguars, Colts, and Texans are all tied atop the division with 8-7 records. The Titans, on the other hand, are already eliminated from playoff contention at 5-10, so that’s one prediction that was right. Still, the AFC South is very much undecided.
If the three teams finish the year with the same record, Jacksonville will ultimately be the division winner because of the league’s tie-breaking rules. However, with two weeks of games left, the Colts are hoping to get their hands on the division crown for the first time since 2014.
How can Colts win AFC South?
The path to a division championship is relatively simple for Indianapolis. Indy has to win out and needs the Jaguars to lose just one of their final two games. If that happens, the Colts will finish with a 10-7 record, which will be just one game better than the Jacksonville at 9-8.
Indianapolis had the perfect opportunity to pass Jacksonville in Week 16 when the Jaguars lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, Indy lost as well. In Week 17, Jacksonville will be facing the two-win Carolina Panthers, so that doesn’t necessarily bode well for Indy. However, Trevor Lawrence will be sidelined with a shoulder injury, so anything could happen.
Even if Jacksonville does win, the Jaguars will still need a win in Week 18 against the Tennessee Titans to secure back-to-back AFC South championships. Of course, all of this only matters if the Colts take care of business in the final two weeks.