As the clock expired and the Colts celebrated a 27-20 victory on the road on Thursday Night Football against the Houston Texans with their star quarterback still sidelined, they were simply happy to improve to 3-2 on the season and get their second win in five days. But the win represented something more, too: it represented history.
That's because, with the win, the Colts recorded their 16th-straight victory against AFC South opponents. Yes, that's right - 16-games, or enough to fill an entire regular season schedule of games. That's something that no team in NFL history has done before. The Miami Dolphins of 1972-1973 previously held the record with 15 straight wins against their division, a mark that the Colts tied with their overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Then tonight, the Colts won to move into first place in league history.
It's an impressive accomplishment for a number of reasons, despite the fact that the AFC South is the worst division in football. Firstly, division games are never easy. That's not to say that any NFL game is easy, but division games are always a bit more important and intense. Secondly, it means that the Colts have taken care of the games they should win. Even though the division isn't that great, credit the Colts for continually winning the games they should win. It's amazing how often that doesn't happen in sports. And thirdly, we realize that the easiest way to make the playoffs is by winning the division. The Colts swept the division in 2013, swept the division in 2014, and are 3-0 so far this year - that helps tremendously in trying to make the postseason.
Whichever way you look at it, 16 wins in a row against division opponents is incredibly impressive. Chuck Pagano and the Colts deserve credit for that, and considering the fact that the Jaguars and Texans haven't been able to beat the Colts without Andrew Luck, this streak might not be coming to an end anytime soon, either.
Here's a chart of each win of the Colts' record 16-game winning streak: