Originally Posted by NEPatriots
The Colts were guaranteed a post-season spot just about every season. All they had to do was beat up expansion teams.
Since the realignment in 2002 up until the 10-11 playoffs, since Peyton sat out the next year, the AFC East has sent 13 teams to the playoffs. In that same time period, the AFC South sent 15 teams to the playoffs.
There were 6 spots not represented by the Colts or Patriots in both eras in each division.
The 6 South teams that were in the playoffs were a combined 69-27, or a .718 winning percentage, and the Eastern teams were a combined 50-46, or a .520 winning percentage.
Empirical evidence suggests that not only has the AFC South had better quality teams overall, but that there have also been more quality teams in the South than the East during that time.
So if Peyton was "given" the division over and again, then Brady was served his as breakfast in bed.