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Power Rankings: AFC division heading south in hurry


Updated Nov. 30

Three weeks ago, we were all singing the praises of the AFC South. The four teams all looked to be flying high, setting up a race that would feature good teams right down to the wire.

Now the AFC South isn't very good and, quite frankly, in the past month the four teams have stunk.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are tied for the division lead at 6-5. When did this division morph into something you'd expect to find out West?

Look at each of the four teams.

The Colts have lost three of their last four games and looked totally overmatched against the Chargers on Sunday night.

The Jaguars have won two of three, but it took a Hail Mary and a 75-yard screen pass to win those two in the final seconds.

The Titans have lost four consecutive games and they played a rookie quarterback this past weekend. The starting quarterback is on injured reserve and might never play for Tennessee again after a spat with the head coach.

Houston broke a four-game losing streak by beating the Titans on Sunday, but that was against a struggling Rusty Smith.

In the past five weeks, the AFC South teams have combined to go 7-13. Take away the victories over each other, and the record is 3-11 against teams outside the division.

NFL -- Week 12
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The Colts' loss to the Chargers means they are out of the top 10 of our Power Rankings for the first time this season -- and maybe since we started doing these. They come in at No. 13, the highest for any team in the AFC South.

The NFL teaches us every year that you don't crown champions at Halloween. If you would have picked the NFL's toughest division a month ago, it might have been the AFC South.

Now it's four teams scrambling to try to right things for a stretch run. Looking at the schedules, the Colts would still appear to be the favorite. They have the Titans and the Jaguars left at home, plus the Cowboys at home, and road games at Tennessee and Oakland.

The Jaguars have road games at Tennessee, Indianapolis and Houston and home games against Oakland and Washington. The Texans play at Philadelphia, home against Baltimore, at Tennessee, at Denver and then close at home against the Jaguars. Tennessee has the two games with the Colts, one with the Jaguars, one with the Texans and at Kansas City.

The division is wide open, and it will be decided by plenty of inter-division games in the final month of the season. That might be a good thing. At least somebody will win games.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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