The End of a Reign in the AFC South

Aris WingerCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2008

It's really hard to dominate in the NFL. Given the salary cap and the NFL's quest for parity, and it's hard to control your division. But Indy has done that for a while. It's been a long time since they have not won the division—2002, actually.

It is now the time for a changing of the guard? Peyton is injured, and Harrison is not 100 percent. The Jags are getting better. Houston is not looking too shabby, and the Titans are improving, too. 

The days of the Colts sweeping the division are over. They have their rings.

I was actually surprised to see Dungy return to coach after they won the title. What else does he have to coach for? There are hungrier (and more talented) teams in San Diego and New England (wouldn't you be hungry to redeem yourself after a perfect season without a title?) that will do anything for a title. 

The time for a change seems to be now. Indy is more vulnerable than ever. If they don't lose their division now, then just rename the division after them. The Indianapolis AFC South. 

You can almost count five automatic losses on their record already.  Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, New England at home, San Diego, and Tennessee will be the most difficult for Indy to overcome (if they can exploit Indy's weaknesses).

Indy will complete the season with a 10-6 record at best. Remember last year when Cleveland didn't make the playoffs with that record?

Now, I could be wrong. Indy could pull together another 12-4 or 13-3 record. But if that happens, then Tom Moore, er, I mean Tony Dungy, has to get Coach of the Year, hands down. 

You can only win your division for so long before your time runs out. It happens to all of the division dominators: The Eagles of the 2000s, 49ers of the late '90s, and the Packers of the late '90s.

Indy is next, and we should all tip our hats to them for their great run. If I am wrong and they continue to extend it, then it will be one of the greatest runs in NFL history. Good luck Indy.


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