If there's one thing still normal about 2016 in general, it's that the AFC South is still bad. Although, Week 9 did go a little better than most writers, and experts, thought. That's because the Colts pulled out a win (yay!) in Lambeau against the heavily favored Packers.
Even with that, though, nothing has really changed within the South.
Houston Texans (5-3)
Looking Back: Texans were on the bye.
Looking Ahead: The Texans still hold steady at the top after not playing last week. And no matter what, they're guaranteed to stay here for at least one more week. The Texans come out of the Bye Week to take on Jacksonville for the first time this year. Houston hasn't looked great (specifically on offense) but still control the division. I'm sure they're hoping that the bye will give the offense, and Brock Osweiler, a chance to regroup to make a strong late season surge. On paper the Texans should win this game, but in a division contest you never really know. A win really puts Houston in control of the division, going 2 games up on the closes team, and 3-0 within the South.
Prediction: I'm sticking with Houston to win in Jacksonville.
Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
Looking Back: Did you hear? The Colts won! We've covered that plenty here at Stampede Blue, and for good reason. It was a huge win for the Colts as they head into the bye week with seven games to go. Also, Jordan Todman was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Looking Ahead: Bye Week
Tennessee Titans (4-5)
Looking Back: The Titans lost a shootout (what?) to the San Diego Chargers in a game that may have set the record for most power-blue uniforms on the field at one time (Chargers in the home unis, and the Titans with the power blue pants), But really, Tennessee had a shot, but had two turnovers which the San Diego defense turned into points, and the Titans couldn't stop Melvin Gordan to save their life. For a team that had a good defense and a slow power run offense, it was weird to see them in a shootout. The game again showed, though, that this team really needs to build around Marcus Mariota and not the running game.
Looking Ahead: The Titans will return to Nashville this week to host the Packers. I've got a sneaking suspicion that the Packers might come in a little angry after what happened against the Colts. That doesn't bode well for Tennessee. At times the Packers have played good football this year, and if they can put another one of those games together then the Titans are in trouble. It could be another shootout for the Titans.
Prediction: I think the Titans could swing the upset. But I'm still picking the Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)
Looking Back: The good Jaguars showed up on Sunday, playing the Kansas City Chiefs tight the whole way. In fact, Jacksonville probably should have gone ahead late in the game, had it not been for a questionable fumble call by the refs. I'm not saying the Jaguars would have stopped Kansas City once (maybe twice) with 4 minutes left, but it's definitely a different game.
Looking Ahead: As noted, the Jaguars take on the Texans this week in a big divisional game. It really depends on what Jaguars team shows up this week. I would expect Jacksonville to come out motivated for a division game at home. The key, as always, is Blake Bortles.
Prediction: I'll take the Texans, as I said. But this could be close.