The AFC South is ugly. I mean slap-dash, dragged over 100 miles of bad road face-first ugly. Heading into Week 16 not a single team is above .600, but the only team that is completely out of this down-to-the-wire race has been out for about five weeks, that being the hapless, hopeless Jacksonville Jaguars.
Though the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans are at the top of the division, neither could have imagined the troubles they would see. The Texans paid big money to wrap up a man that believed was their quarterback of the future in Brock Osweiler, while the Titans' second year starter Marcus Mariota was supposed to help push them to their first playoff berth in eight years.
(Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle)
The Indianapolis Colts don't field much outside of QB Andrew Luck, and their deficiencies show up more often than not. But at least they're competing. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars were at least supposed to be competitive.
If the AFC South were on a dating app, I'd definitely swipe left. It's way too ugly, way too complicated and unpredictable. With just two weeks left in the regular seasons, Tennessee, Houston and Indianapolis will be looking to finish strong to solidify a playoff berth.
Following his last start, Brock Osweiler is 26th in the NFL in passing yardage with 2,656 yards. Moribund would be too kind a work to describe his performance this year. The only quarterbacks in the league that fall below him in this category have all either missed a considerable amount of games or were backups performing in spot duty for most of the season. 14 touchdowns to 14 interceptions is below average as well.
With a $70 million price tag hanging from Osweiler's jersey, the Texans are looking at the Denver Broncos for a refund. Brock started against the Jacksonville Jaguars but was snatched in the 2nd quarter after tossing two boneheaded interceptions. Despite that, the Texans were able to grind out a revolting win against the Jags with backup QB Tom Savage at the helm. The victory brought the Texans to 8-6. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans are currently on a three-game winning streak and have won four out of their last five after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in a spit-flingin', wing-ding of a slobber-knocker.
Final score 19-17.
(Photo Credit: Pioneer Press)
Though tied for the lead in the division with the Texans, the Titans are doing their best to stay ahead of the Indianapolis Colts, who won both divisional matchups. Not to be outdone by their divisional rivals, the Indianapolis Colts beat the buttermilk biscuits out of the Minnesota Vikings 34-6 to stay within arms reach of the division leaders. The Colts' sputtering-stuttering rushing attack will be put to the test against the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders in Week 16. Though their corners are generally powdered toast, their pass rush, led by LB Khalil Mack, can really give a signal caller happy feet in the pocket, and that's a sad thing for the opposition. A loss could pretty much seal the deal on any hopes they may have had of slipping into the playoffs through the doggy door.
Though the Colts don't struggle scoring, ranking 11th in the NFL on offense, they're going to be hard-pressed to shut down a Raiders offense that arguably has the best wide receiver trio in the NFL. Mariota and company will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Christmas Eve in what should be a smackdown.
But, hey, it's the AFC South. You never really know. The Texans play a very beatable Cincinnati Bengals team with nothing but pride to play for in Week 16, but will find themselves going against the Titans in Week 17 in a divisional matchup that could make or break their season.
Whether or not the poor combined win percentage of the AFC South is due to competitive attrition or plain old bad football is hard to say. But, good, bad or ugly, one of these teams is going to the playoffs and just might beat somebody. And you can bet your collection of Garbage Pail kids that a playoff game involving any of these teams won't be pretty.