AFC South Division

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AFC South is one of the four divisions in the American Football Conference (AFC), which is one of the two National Football League (NFL) conferences – alongside the National Football Conference. The other three divisions are AFC North, AFC West and AFC East.

The division was created when the league realigned divisions in 2002 when the NFL expanded to 32 teams and it has always had the same four members: the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. The Houston Texans didn’t exist before 2002 – and the prior respective divisions of the Titans and Jaguars were AFC Central, with the Colts previously part of AFC East. As such, it is still considered by many to be the ‘newly created AFC South’!

Just as with the NFC East, this division is pretty geographically inaccurate – with three teams actually based in the South of the US.

AFC South Successes

The Formation of AFC South In terms of success, The Colts have an overall winning record to date, they have won two NFL titles, appeared in four Super Bowls and won it twice. Following this is the Titans, who don’t share the benefits of an overall winning record – however, they have won two AFL Championships (as the Houston Oilers) and just one appearance in the Super Bowl – which they lost. The Jaguars also don’t have an overall winning record – and haven’t made it to the Super Bowl to date – and the newest team, the Texans, have made their first playoff berth in 2011 – and have also never managed to reach the Super Bowl.

The only team from AFC South to ever have won the Super Bowl is the Colts, and this is the division with the dubious honor of having the longest active Super Bowl drought.

AFC South History

Let’s look at the history of the AF South division from its formation in 2002 to the current day:

The 2000s

Unlike most other divisions, the AFC south only came into existence when the NFL expanded and realigned for the 2002 schedule. Previous to this, the Indianapolis Colts belonged to the AFC East, the Jaguars and Titans belonged to the AFC Central division and the Texans didn’t even exist. The Tennessee Titans won the AFC South title in its inaugural season and they went on to make it to the AFC Championship game. However, the next five years were dominated by the Colts – who won the division title for five consecutive seasons – and topped this with a victory in the Super Bowl XLI.

By 2007, the AFC South accrued the overall best division record ever – with a 0.656 winning percentage (42 wins to 22 losses). This overtook the previous record of 0.643 held by AFC Central.

The following year, the division title was won by the Tennessee Titans who finally managed to put an end to the Colts five-season winning streak… but not for long! The following year, in 2009, the Colts flew back up to the top, winning their 6th division title in Week 12 of the regular season after defeating the Houston Texans, with the Jacksonville Jaguars losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

The 2010s

2010 saw the Colts continue their winning performances as they managed to win their final four games of the season, while the Jacksonville Jaguars lost their final three games.

However, 2011 stirred the division up and it was the Houston Texans that managed to clinch their first AFC South win – and their first-ever playoff spot in the history of the franchise. This came about after the Houston Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals in week 14 and the New Orleans Patriots clinched victory against the Titans that same week. This was an exciting time for the team – and they managed to beat the Bengals in their first playoff game ever. However, this was followed by a swift defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional game.

The following year, 2012, the Texans were again crowned AFC South champions after beating the Colts in week 15. Again, they made the playoff berths, beating the Bengals but this time losing out to the New England Patriots. In 2013 it was the year the Colts took back the reins and swept all three opponents in the division and kept that title in 2014 after beating the Texans in week 15.

In 2015, the Texans fought back and reclaimed the division title – and won again in 2018, despite managing the same record as the Titans. The Texans clinched the AFC South’s automatic playoff berth based on the fact they finished better against the division. In 2017 it was the turn of the Jacksonville Jaguars- clinching their first playoff berth since 2007. 2018 was taken by the Texans again, although they were joined in the playoffs by the Wild Card qualifiers the Colts – and used the wild card berths to defeat the Texans in the first round.

That decade came to a close in 2019 with another division success for the Titans – winning their sixth division title.

The 2020s

In 1029, the Titans made it through to the AFC Championship game as wild card qualifiers and carried this success through to the 2020s. They were division champions in 2020 and are the most recent champions in the division.

AFC South Division Important Dates

Here are some important dates in the AFC North history:

  • 2002 – the AFC South was formally created from one AFC East team, two AFC Central teams and one expansion team.
  • 2006 – the AFC team Indianapolis Colts won the division’s first Super Bowl XLI.

AFC South Total Playoff Berths

Here are the total playoff berths and division titles held by the four teams in the AFC South:

  • Team Division Wins Playoff Berths AFC Wins Super Bowl Wins
  • The Colts 9 14 2 1
  • The Texans 6 6 0 0
  • The Titans 3 6 1 0
  • The Jaguars 1 3 0 0

AFC South Division Champions

  • Season Team Record Results
  • 2002 Tennessee Titans 11–5 Lost AFC Championship 
  • 2003 Indianapolis Colts 12–4 Lost AFC Championship 
  • 2004 Indianapolis Colts 12–4 Lost Divisional playoffs
  • 2005 Indianapolis Colts 14–2 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2006 Indianapolis Colts 12–4 Won Super Bowl XLI v Bears 29–17
  • 2007 Indianapolis Colts 13–3 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2008 Tennessee Titans 13–3 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2009 Indianapolis Colts 14–2 Lost Super Bowl XLIV v Saints 17–31
  • 2010 Indianapolis Colts 10–6 Lost Wild Card playoffs 
  • 2011 Houston Texans 10–6 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2012 Houston Texans 12–4 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2013 Indianapolis Colts 11–5 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2014 Indianapolis Colts 11–5 Lost AFC Championship 
  • 2015 Houston Texans 9–7 Lost Wild Card playoffs 
  • 2016 Houston Texans 9–7 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars 10–6 Lost AFC Championship 
  • 2018 Houston Texans 11–5 Lost Wild Card playoffs
  • 2019 Houston Texans 10–6 Lost Divisional playoffs 
  • 2020 Tennessee Titans 11–5 Lost Wild Card playoffs
  • 2021 Tennessee Titans 11–5

AFC South Division FAQs 

Who Leads the AFC South Division?

Although the Colts have had the most success to date, with the most previous title wins and Super Bowl victory, it is the Tennessee Titans that are leading the way in the most recent years, having won the division in the past two consecutive seasons, won the AFC Championship once and made the playoffs

What Teams Make up the AFC South?

The AFC South division was originally founded in 2002 and, like all other divisions in the National Football League, the division has four members: The Indianapolis Colts, The Houston Texans, The Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans. Before the division was founded, the Colts belonged to the AFC East division, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans were part of the AFC Central Division and the Houston Texans joined as an expansion team as the newest team in the division. The AFC South team is one division that has kept stable since its creation.

How Many Division Titles have the Tennessee Titans Won?

The Tennessee Titans didn’t have much success at the start of the century. They managed their first division win in 2008 and went through a long drought up until 2020. However, they are also the most recent champions and the holders of the 2021 Southern division title. Overall, they have won the division title 3 times and made the playoffs six times in total.

Have the Indianapolis Colts Won Multiple Division Titles?

Although they are not the current AFC Southern division champions, they are by far the most successful team in the division to date. They have won the South division title nine times, won the AFC Championship twice, won the Super Bowl once and made the playoffs 14 times. However, they have not been the division champions since 2014. They

Have The Texans Ever Made the Playoff Berth?

Despite joining the league in 2002, the Houston Texans made their first playoff berth in 2011 – 9 years after they were founded. Since then, they have made the playoffs another five times and have won the AFC Championship game once