Just three short weeks ago, the Indianapolis Colts were 0-2 and tied for last place in the dismal AFC South. Since then? They've had the good fortune of playing three straight games against the AFC South, beating the Tennessee Titans 35-33 in comeback fashion, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-13 in overtime without Andrew Luck, and then five days later beating the Houston Texans 27-20 again with Matt Hasselbeck under center. All of the sudden, the Colts are 3-2 and in first place in the division.
Not only are they in first place, however: they hold a commanding lead. The Texans lost to the Colts on Thursday night, and then the Jaguars and the Titans both lost today. After those results, here are the current AFC South standings:
If there's any doubt about it, the AFC South is by far the worst division in football this year. As of right now (with all week five games except the Sunday and Monday night games being final), there are four divisions in the NFL that have a losing record combined between the four teams: the NFC East, the NFC North, the NFC West, and the AFC South. But the AFC South has two less wins and two more losses than any other division in football this year, along with lacking the great team that other divisions (like the Cardinals in the NFC West and the Packers in the NFC North). Without a doubt, the AFC South has been the worst division in football this year.
Now, the Colts have a two-game lead in their division and have one win over each of the three division opponents - and they got two of those while playing without their franchise quarterback. In doing so, the Colts set the all-time NFL record for the most consecutive wins against a division opponent with 16 in a row. This year, the Colts have as many wins (three) as the other three teams in the AFC South have combined.
The Colts have their issues, and they have a brutal stretch coming up, with four of their next five opponents currently undefeated. But the good news is that they play in a weak division, and that should make it much, much easier to make the playoffs. And as we all know, the first step toward winning in the playoffs is making the playoffs, and the surest way of making the playoffs is to win the division. The Colts have done that in dominating fashion in the past two seasons, and despite a slow start this season, they hold a commanding lead in the division yet again after just five weeks of the 2015 season.