At the three quarter mark of the season one of the NFL's southern divisions are almost decided while the other is still up for grabs.
The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) led by QB Andrew Luck have a three-game lead over the Tennessee Titans with four games left. Any combination of an Indy win or Tennessee defeat will give the Colts the division. The Colts look to return to its domination of the AFC South after the 2011 transition year. Since 2012 Indianapolis is 19-9 overall and not dropped consecutive games since Andrew Luck was drafted two years ago.
The Titans (5-7) have an outside chance at a wild card but will travel to Denver to face the Broncos and Peyton Manning this sunday. Jacksonville (3-9) has won three straight games and will host the Houston Texans on Thursday night (2-9). After two straight AFC South titles (2011-2012) Houston is having their worst season since the arrival of HC Gary Kubiak eight years ago.
Meanwhile in the NFC South the co-leaders Carolina Panthers (9-3) and New Orleans Saints (9-3) face each other on sunday night in the Superdome in the first of two "mano to mano" games in the next three weeks.
Carolina has clinched its first winning season since 2008 while New Orleans hopes to make it back to the playoffs after a one year absence.
The unusual stat about the defending NFC South champion continues which is no defending NFC South champ has repeated since the division began in 2002. The Atlanta Falcons, the 2012 NFC South winner, is experiencing its worst season in the Mike Smith/ Matt Ryan era.
2002: Tampa Bay
2005: Tampa Bay/Carolina
2006: New Orleans
2007: Tampa Bay
2009: New Orleans
2011: New Orleans
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come off a 27-6 loss to Carolina after winning three straight games following an 0-8 start.