The worst division in the NFL is the AFC South, led by the Indianapolis Colts with a 3-5 record, at first thanks to a tiebreaker with the Houston Texans who are also at 3-5, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars at 2-5 and the Tennessee Titans at 1-6, with six straight losses, and just now firing Ken Whisenhunt from the head coach position.
Things used to be different, and too long ago. The Colts and Texans both made the playoffs in 2012 and the Texans finished 9-7 last season. This season? The Colts are 3-0 in the division, 0-5 against the rest of the NFL. Two of the Texans wins have come in the division. Both Jaguars and Titans have found their success elsewhere, still not playing against each other, but it’s not like they’re an example of how to be a winning team.
The interesting thing is how dysfunctional the Colts seem to be despite being the best in the division. Andrew Luck has been either missing games or playing with an injury, which hasn’t been helping. But there’s more: Chuck Pagano doesn’t have too much of protection anymore as the team’s offensive coordinator has been fired. Pep Hamilton pays the price for three straight losses, but might be a fall guy and not the actual problem for a team some thought were good enough to make the Super Bowl this year after taking another step each season with Luck at quarterback. Rob Chudzinski will replace him.
But that’s not all of it in Indianapolis. There are plenty of reports suggesting the front office is a mess in Indianapolis, with Ryan Grigson shouldering most of the blame. It feels as if the Colts need to make another AFC Championship game in order for both Pagano and Grigson to save their jobs, and from the looks of things right now, that isn’t very likely.
From all these firings and changes, as the Titans had enough of Whisenhunt, a perfect example of someone who is great as a coordinator but not so much as a head coach (probably depending on the situation he’s in), following a 3-20 record during his time as the team’s head coach. The Texans somehow stay around mediocrity thanks to wins over weaklings and sometimes the defense stepping up, but it’s hard seeing them pulling out of this situation just like that considering how little offensive talent they have.
The situation is so absurd that the Jaguars seem like a example of normality and stability in the AFC South. The Jags and the Texans have offensive coordinators that have been at their jobs since the beginning of this season, and they’re the longest tenured in the group of 4. Just like last year’s NFC South, this awful division is going to put someone in the playoffs, but whoever that is, it’s not going to be a pretty sight, or last for very long.