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State of the AFC South: Week 12

The more the season goes on, the more things stay the same in the South.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s basically the same old story in the AFC South now. The Jaguars lose, the Colts and Titans jostle for the second place slot, and the Texans continue to hold on to their division lead.

I could end the article there, I guess, but I won’t. Here’s the current state of the division.

Houston Texans (6-4)

Looking Back: The Texans dropped a game in Mexico on Monday Night to the Raiders. That much was expected. However, this was another in a long line of games where the refs may have hurt the Texans. That and the odd green laser pointed at Brock Osweiler. It was a strange Monday Night game. But the Texans lost, which is excellent news for Colts (and Titans) fans.

Looking Ahead: The Texans will host the San Diego Chargers this week in what should be an interesting game. If there was a team that could be confused for the Colts, it would be the Chargers. Dominant at times. Inept at times. And capable of blowing a seemingly certain victory. Honestly, I think this one is a toss up. If the Texans can generate offense (Osweiler looked pretty good last week) then they have a good shot to win.

Prediction: I’ll take the Texans just because they’re at home.

Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

Looking Back: For the first time all year the Colts put together back to back wins. In typical Colts fashion, they made it harder than it needed to be. Indy dominated the first half before letting the Titans make a game of it late. Still, the win gave the Colts the tiebreaker over the Titans in the division, which could be important moving forward. On a sour note, the injury bug struck again. Clayton Geathers and Andrew Luck both suffered concussions in the win.

Looking Ahead: The Colts take the field at home on Thanksgiving for the first time. The opponent? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Uh oh. I was pessimistic about this game from the get go. Pittsburgh has shredded the Colts the last two years, and this year the Indianapolis defense might be worse. Without Andrew Luck, it could be really really bad.

I would also like to note that (assuming Scott Tolzein starts) since 2011, these are the QBs the Colts have trotted out to face the Steelers, in order: Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter (came in for injured Collins), Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, and now Tolzein.

Prediction: If there was a lock this week, it’s the Steelers winning this game.

Tennessee Titans (5-6)

Looking Back: The Titans suffered what really was a crushing loss to the Colts. They had won three straight, and had scored all kinds of points doing it. Then, they came to Indy, where the Titans haven’t won since the 2007 season. And that win was against the Colts backups. Marcus Mariota got a little bit of magic going, but it was too little too late.

Looking Ahead: No, the Titans still aren’t on the bye. This week they travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears. This is a game the Titans should win, as the Bears are in disarray. Jay Cutler has likely played his last game, Alshon Jeffrey was suspended for PEDs last week, and former Colt Jerrell Freeman followed suit this week.

Prediction: This should be an easy win for the Titans.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8)

Looking Back: It really, really looked like Jacksonville was going to take down the Lions. Then the Lions did what they do best this year (come back in the 4th quarter) and escaped with a win. The loss all but defined the Jaguars. A team that is close, but can’t quite do it.

Looking Ahead: The Jaguars head north as they take on the Buffalo Bills. Coach Rex Ryan called the Jaguars the best 2 win team he’s ever seen. He could be right. The Jaguars have the talent, and they play some good games, they just don’t win games. I think I say this every week, but I don’t see Blake Bortles playing enough mistake free football to win this game.

Prediction: Give me the Bills at home, possibly in the snow.