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The Best Seasons From Every AFC South Team


AFC Best Seasons
© Jack Gruber, USA TODAY, USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

There have been several great teams throughout the history of the NFL. Every team has had its share of highlight moments, dream seasons, and dominant performances.




This is the third installment of every NFL team's best season by division, now with the AFC South.


Houston Texans: 2012

A year after winning the franchise's first playoff game, the 2012 Houston Texans won a team-record 12 regular season games. This was done before defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round for the second straight year. Houston was led by J.J. Watt, who won Defensive Player of the Year that season after recording a league-high 20.5 sacks.


AFC Best Seasons
© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans' roster featured seven other Pro Bowlers in receiver Andre Johnson (112 catches, 1,598 yards), running back Arian Foster (1,424 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns) and quarterback Matt Schaub. They also included tight end Owen Daniels, corner Johnathan Joseph, center Chris Myers, left guard Wade Smith and left tackle Duane Brown. Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2024.


Indianapolis Colts: 2006

After six disappointing playoff exits to start his career, Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts finally got over the hump in 2006, defeating the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI. It wasn't easy, however, as the Colts needed five Adam Vinatieri field goals to beat the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round. They also needed a dramatic, come-from-behind win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. 



Along with Manning, the '06 Colts featured Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison (1,366 yards, 12 touchdowns), Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne (1,310 yards, 9 touchdowns), and running back Joseph Addai (1,406 all-purpose yards, 8 touchdowns).



The Colts also had tight end Dallas Clark, Hall-of-Fame defensive end Dwight Freeney, linebackers Cato June and Gary Brackett, and safety Bob Sanders. The '06 Colts were led by coach Tony Dungy, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016. 


Jacksonville Jaguars: 1999

The only team that the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to in 1999 was the Tennessee Titans, who defeated them twice during the regular season before defeating Jacksonville again in the AFC title game. The Jaguars' playoff loss came after they throttled the Miami Dolphins—62-7—in what would be the final game of quarterback Dan Marino's Hall of Fame career.



The '99 Jaguars featured quarterback Mark Brunell, running back Fred Taylor, and receiver Jimmy Smith (1,636 reaching yards), the franchise's all-time career passing, rushing, and receiving leaders. Along with Brunell and Smith, the '99 Jaguars included 5 other Pro Bowlers in offensive tackles Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy, defensive end Tony Brackens (12 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles), linebacker Kevin Hardy (10.5 sacks) and free safety Carnell Lake. 


Tennessee Titans: 1999

After three consecutive 8-8 seasons, Tennessee finally broke through in 1999, its first season as the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee received a major shot in the arm from pass rusher Javon Kearse, whose 14.5 sacks helped him win Defensive Rookie of the Year. But despite the Titans' 13-3 regular season, they entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team and needed the "Music City Miracle" to defeat the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round.


AFC Best Seasons
© H. DARR BEISER, USA TODAY, USA TODAY via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Titans took off from there, upsetting the second-seeded Colts in the divisional round before defeating the top-seeded Jaguars for a third time in the AFC title game. Trailing 16-0 in Super Bowl XXXIV, the Titans, led by the combined brilliance of quarterback Steve McNair and running back Eddie George, battled back to tie the score with 2:12 left. But after the Rams quickly regained the lead, McNair's final pass of the game, a slant to Kevin Dyson, saw Dyson get tackled a yard shy of the end zone.



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