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Rub salt into the wound as the Colts miss out on AFC South title

The Houston Texans are the AFC South champions. That is a place the Colts should have found themselves.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

2014.

That is the last time the Indianapolis Colts won the AFC South. Trent Richardson was the running back. Greg Toler wore blue and white. We were still waiting to see if Bjoern Werner would amount to anything. Vontae Davis hadn’t walked off the field in the middle of a game to retire yet. Oh, and Sergio Brown...I will leave that one alone.

That was the last roster to win the AFC South.

The AFC South used to be a joke to Colts fans for two reasons.

1. The rest of the teams in the division were quite bad.

2. The division didn’t mean anything. It was a formality. A step on the path to bigger and better things. No one was rushing out to buy a 2006 division championship hat and shirt.

Times have changed, and a division title for the Colts sure would look and feel good about now. That is what makes Sunday’s results that much more painful to stomach. After being eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday, the Colts got to sit back and watch the Jaguars choke away the division in impressive fashion. That division championship belongs to the Texans now.

Oh, what could have been. Nothing says that if the Colts pick up that fourth and one that they win the game. They still might have failed to score a touchdown. Yes, they would have been at the doorstep, but that is no guarantee. Maybe the fashion in which they would have lost might have been more palatable, but the loss still might have stood.

Then again, maybe they would have converted that drive into seven. Instead of spending Sunday feeling hungover, Colts fans could have sat back and smiled as the Jaguars imploded. That implosion would have hand delivered a division title to a starved fanbase. A fanbase that went from completely spoiled to completely deprived. We went from the penthouse to the outhouse. Yesterday would have been a major step forward towards relevance. That is what made it so hard to witness.

The Colts overachieved this year. No doubt, especially given the roster upheaval they experienced. To even have a chance at a division title was more than most bargained for when the season began, but there they were, on the threshold. It was theirs to take, and they missed their chance. The fourth seed and a home playoff game was in their grasp. There is always next year, but this year will linger a little longer. Boy, does it sting.