Titans Playoff Chances: Updated Outlook After Steelers’ Week 16 Loss

Marcus Mariota

Getty Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota

The Tennessee Titans are hoping to parlay a strong run down the final stretch of the season into a playoff berth. Unfortunately, they still have work left to do in order to make that dream a reality. The continued push for the playoffs featured a crucial Week 16 matchup Saturday against the Washington Redskins, who remain in the mix on the NFC side. The Titans helped their outlook with a win in that game, though, and improved their outlook.

After three straight losses prior to a Week 8 bye, the Titans fell to 3-4 on the season, but have won five of seven games after their bye week. And now, their hopes of going dancing remain alive and well, but there’s ground to be gained. As things stand, Tennessee remains on the outside looking in, so we’re going to evaluate their playoff outlook.

Let’s first start with the current AFC standings and then break down the postseason chances for Marcus Mariota and company.

*Note: Updated chances/odds for Titans listed below.

AFC Playoff Standings

1. Kansas City Chiefs 11 3 0
2. New England Patriots 10 5 0
3. Houston Texans 10 5 0
4. Baltimore Ravens 9 6 0
5. L.A. Chargers 11 3 0
6. Indianapolis Colts 9 6 0
7. Tennessee Titans 9 6 0
8. Pittsburgh Steelers 8 6 1

Although the Indianapolis Colts currently hold the tiebreaker over the Titans in the AFC, Tennessee received a big bump with their win over the Redskins on Saturday. The attention now shifts to a Week 17 matchup between the Colts and Titans which will be played in Tennessee.

The focus for essentially each team outside of the top-five spots in the conference is on that sixth and final Wild Card spot. Aside from the AFC North, which remains up in the air, the rest of the divisions would require top teams imploding for the outlook to change. Fortunately, the Titans are still very much in the mix and actually have a solid outlook moving forward, assuming they can get just a little help.

Titans’ Playoff Chances

The Titans need to keep the winning ways going, but the odds actually aren’t drastically against them. Entering Week 16, they were only being given a 51 percent chance to miss the playoffs, according to Playoff Status. Although their most likely scenario, should they make it in, seems to be very clear at this point.

Based on the odds, the Titans now hold a 58 percent chance to finish with the No. 6 seed in the AFC. The other potential landing spots after Week 16 feature a one percent chance to be No. 2, a two percent outlook to finish at No. 3 and one percent to become the No. 4 seed. Much of this will depend on how the situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens plays out.

If the Ravens can surpass the Steelers due to Pittsburgh losing a game and the Titans win out, they would surpass Pittsburgh. Tennessee can also move ahead of the Ravens with a Week 17 win and two Baltimore losses.

Update: The Titans’ matchup with the Colts in Week 17 is now vital, as it can push them into the postseason. As Playoff Status shows, they have a 53 percent chance to finish in the No. 6 spot and also six percent to jump to No. 4 and four percent to land at No. 3.

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