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 AFC South Focus | Vandermeer's View

With the Texans off this week, let's turn our attention to the AFC South. And by 'our' I mean mine. As everyone who listens to Texans All Access knows, I have a healthy 'sports hate' for the other teams in the division.

Even though the Texans are hardly on track to win the AFC South this year, they'll conclude their second decade of history with more division titles than the other three. The irony is that all the other three have appeared in the AFC Championship game during that time. The sad thing for all four is that no one has been to the Super Bowl in that span.

The Texans didn't get over the hump during the run of six division championships over nine seasons. Prior to the 2021 opener, they were top eight in the league in the last decade in playoff wins and division titles and reached the divisional round four times. One more loss this year means Houston will have back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in 15 years.

The Colts boil my blood like no other team. There are no wins as sweet as those earned against this franchise and no losses that collectively sting so much. I really felt that once Peyton Manning was gone, things would get better against them. And they definitely have. But the Colts still possess a 13-7 regular-season record against Houston since Manning stopped playing in Indy.

Fun (weird) fact about the Colts is that since they last won the division in 2014, they have a winning record against each of the other three teams yet haven't been able to take the AFC South title. They have already lost to the Titans twice in '21 and need a strong finish to challenge for the postseason, which could give the division at least two playoff teams for the 5th consecutive year.

Tennessee, at 7-2, is working on putting together its sixth straight winning season, something no division team has done since the Colts had nine straight in the Manning days. An interesting note about the streak is that Mike Mularkey was the head coach for the first two campaigns ('16 and '17) and was shown the door after beating the Chiefs in a playoff game in Kansas City.

Jacksonville has had only one winning season since 2007. 2017 was a bountiful year for them as they vaulted to the AFC Championship game only to lose to New England. The Jags will face Indy this week in a bid to win back-to-back games for the first time in over two years. The Titans have a date with the Saints before hosting Houston next week.

The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.

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