The knotted AFC South

The AFC South is a giant knot.

Five games in, all four occupants are 3-2.

Those standings you’ll see in places like this are weighted by tie-breakers in the form of division record and conference record.

So Houston (1-0 division, 2-0 in the conference) is technically first while Jacksonville (1-0, 3-1) is second, Indy (0-2, 2-2) third and Tennessee (0-0, 1-2) fourth.

Tennessee plays its first division game Oct. 18 at Jacksonville on "Monday Night Football."

But with 10 of 12 division games still on the schedule and plenty of other conference games to play as well, those narrow edges can be easily evened out, washed away or flipped.

Keith Hawkins and Steve Glasser of ESPN Stats & Information did some digging and talked to the Elias Sports Bureau to get us the following info:

[UPDATED:] This is just the only time since realignment that there is a four-way tie in a division at Week 5 or later and the first time in the AFC South.

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Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 there have been only three other times that there was at least a four-way tie among teams in a division in Week 5 or later of a season.

  • In Week 9 of 1985 the AFC Central had four teams at 4-5.

  • In Week 8 of 1987 the AFC East had five teams at 4-4.

  • In Week 10 of 1987 the AFC East had five teams at 5-5.