Running down division title possibilities

If the Jaguars win at Indianapolis next week, they are AFC South champs so long as the Texans lose one of their final four games.

The worst the Jaguars could finish then is 9-7. The best the Colts could finish then is 9-7. And the Jaguars would win the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a sweep of the season series.

If the Colts beat the Jaguars Sunday, and win their remaining two games, they win the division. If they tied with the Jagaurs at 10-6, here's why:

  • The teams would have split the head-to-head matchups.

  • They’d each be 4-2 in the division

  • The Colts would have a 8-4 record against common opponents, while Jacksonville would be 7-5.

Houston could still conceivably win out in its final four games and be division champ alone at 9-7 but need a lot of help.

The Titans, believe it or not, could also still win the division, though they’d need to win three in a row to get to 8-8 and wind up in a tie at the top with the Jaguars, Colts or Texans. Tennessee would win a common opponents tie breaker with any of those teams in those circumstances. (I have not looked at three-team ties.)

Feel free to play out every scenario imaginable with our Playoff Machine.


If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

Two Clubs

1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).

2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.

3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.

4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

5. Strength of victory.

6. Strength of schedule.

7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.

8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.

9. Best net points in common games.

10. Best net points in all games.

11. Best net touchdowns in all games.