The Tennessee Titans had been one of the hottest teams in the NFL over the better part of the past month and a half. Inserting Ryan Tannehill into the starting lineup seemed to rejuvenate the team and make them a legitimate playoff threat out of the AFC.
However, the past few weeks have gone anything but Tennessee’s way. They dropped a devastating divisional game to the Texans a week ago, only to watch Jameis Winston hand-deliver that same Houston team the AFC South title this Saturday.
To make matters worse, the Titans suffered their second consecutive loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16. Has the defeat stripped Tennessee of their playoff dreams? Or are the Titans still hanging on by a thread? Let’s take a look.
*Note: Updated outlook and odds for Titans will be listed below.
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AFC Playoff Standings
|1. Baltimore Ravens [xy]||13||2|
|2. New England Patriots [xy]||12||3|
|3. Kansas City Chiefs [xy]||10||4|
|4. Houston Texans [xy]||10||5|
|5. Buffalo Bills [x]||10||5|
|6. Tennessee Titans||8||7|
|In the Hunt|
|7. Pittsburgh Steelers||8||7|
|8. Cleveland Browns||6||9|
|9. Oakland Raiders||6||8|
- * KEYS:
- [*] Clinched Homefield Advantage
- [y] Clinched Division Title
- [z] Clinched First-Round Bye
- [x] Clinched Playoff Berth
* Below is the order in which tiebreakers are processed courtesy of NFL.com.
- Head-to-head, if applicable.
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
- Strength of victory.
- Strength of schedule.
- Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
- Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
- Best net points in conference games.
- Best net points in all games.
- Best net touchdowns in all games.
- Coin toss.
Titans Playoff Hopes Still Alive
Despite the Tennessee Titans’ loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, there is still hope for a playoff berth in Nashville. With a current record of 8-7, the Titans will travel to Houston in Week 17 to face off with the Texans for the second time in a three week span. The Titans will obviously have to capture a victory against Houston. However, due to the fact that the Texans have already clinched the AFC South title, along with home-field advantage, they have very little to play for next Sunday, except for the potential joy of crushing a fellow divisional foe’s playoff dreams.
The Titans weren’t the only team to suffer a devastating loss in Week 16. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee’s lone competition for the final playoff spot in the AFC, also dropped a crucial game on Sunday vs. the New York Jets. Pittsburgh shuffled quarterbacks on multiple occasions, with much of the same putrid returns.
The Steelers will travel to Baltimore in Week 17, and attempt to defeat the top-seeded Ravens. However, they will still need some help, as the Titans, despite a loss, actually jumped the Steelers in the standings, now controlling their own playoff faith. With a victory in Week 17, Tennessee will lock up the sixth-seed in the AFC.
The Titans are clearly the more talented of the two teams, mainly due to their consistency from the quarterback position. Tennessee would be one of the scariest teams in the playoffs if they can make it to the dance. However, only time will tell.