Does the AFC South Play the Colts Tough?

One of the great myths of NFL divisional play is that divisional games are more challenging than normal games.  You hear announcers and pundits say it all the time.  For example, It has often been said that the Jaguars play Indianapolis ‘tough’. The idea apparently being that because teams play in the same division twice a year, they are more familiar with one another, leading to unexpected results or closer than normal games.

Let’s examine if that is true for the Colts against the AFC South using the following criteria:

  • Wins and losses
  • Point differential
  • Percentage of close games

The AFC South was formed in 2002, giving us nine years of data.  The teams have all played each other 18 times.  For each matchup, I isolated out the 18 games the teams in question played against each other and compared them to the 126 other games the teams played in the regular season.  There were no playoff matchups between the Colts and any AFC South foe in that span.

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