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AFC South is the worst division in football

Luck's Colts taking advantage of a fortunate slate of division foes
11/19/2013 2:02 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Andrew Luck and the Colts are easily outpacing their AFC South foes.(AP)

Just three weeks ago, pundits and fans alike were lamenting that the usually-competitive, often-successful NFC East had turned into the worst division in football - and numerically, they may have been right.

Following the games of Week 8, the Dallas Cowboys led the division at 4-4, despite having a 1-4 record outside of their division; right behind them was 3-5 Philadelphia, who had just lost their second straight divisional game and had also failed to score an offensive touchdown for the second straight week, and bringing up the rear were the 2-6 Giants (who had beaten now 1-7 Minnesota and the Eagles after starting 0-6) and the 2-6 Redskins, whose two wins, at Oakland and vs. Chicago, both came in games where the opposition's backup quarterback played all or most of the game.

Of course, just three weeks later, things are much different. The current leader out East is 6-5 Philly, who has won three in a row while watching Nick Foles - who, by the by, currently leads the NFL in passer rating - throw for 932 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero turnovers, while 5-5 Dallas (who had a bye) is now technically second and the Giants have won four straight to surge back to 4-6.

The Redskins are last with a 3-7 overall record, 0-3 division record, and a bad loss to Minnesota on the resume, but even still, they almost pulled off a miracle fourth quarter comeback on the Eagles on Sunday - and, if you remember, they were 3-6 at their Week 10 bye last year and went on to win seven in a row to win the division, so anything is possible.

So, then, when it comes to that worst division derby…has anyone even been paying attention to just how bad - and really, at this point, how clear-cut - the AFC South is in 2013?

At the top, you have Indianapolis, who, at 7-3, looks on paper to be a good team and is technically the No. 2 seed in the AFC after Week 11. However, when you look inside, you see that they actually are a 7-3 team that probably should be 5-5 but could be 10-0. Right now, they have given both Seattle and Denver their only losses, but they themselves have lost to a trio in St. Louis, San Diego and Miami - the first two of them in what you would consider "bad" losses - that has a combined record of 13-17.

Beyond them? It's a whole lot of nothing, one that might actually look even worse if Indy had won any or all of those three bad losses. Second place belongs to Tennessee, who is 4-6 and 0-3 in the division after last Thursday's loss to the Colts and is now going to be starting a backup quarterback the rest of the year, while the 2-8 Texans have lost eight in a row and the 1-9 Jaguars count their only win against the Titans.

All in all, the division's combined record of 14-26 is the worst in the NFL by four full games, and, if Indy tops Arizona next Sunday, they could clinch the division on Dec. 1 with a second win over Tennessee.

And yet, it may speak to just how top-heavy the AFC is in total that right now, the 4-6 Titans are one of eight teams that are either in, technically tied for, or within a game of the league's second wild card spot - a group that expands to nine if you include 4-7 Buffalo, who could pick up a half-game on anyone and everyone during their bye this week.

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