The Houston Texans had their playoff fate sealed before they even kicked off Sunday afternoon against Tennessee Titans after a decisive matchup went against them earlier in the day.
The Texans (10-5) locked up the division with Week 16’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and were still looking to swap up for the No. 3 seed with a win over the Titans (8-7) to end the season, but they also needed the Kansas City Chiefs to lose to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Instead, the Chiefs (12-4) roared to a 31-21 victory and overtook the No. 2 seed from New England after the Patriots (12-4) suffered a rough loss to the Miami Dolphins at home Sunday afternoon to end the regular season. While the scenario shook up the AFC some, things were only made more certain for the Texans, right down to who they would play in the first round.
Here’s a breakdown of the current AFC playoff picture prior to Sunday’s 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff between the Texans and Titans along with an updated look at Houston’s playoff scenarios for Week 17.
*Note: All data and percentages included here are courtesy of Playoff Status.
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Updated Look at the AFC Playoff Picture
Disclaimer: All projections will be updated live with relevant Week 17 final results
The Baltimore Ravens (13-2) secured the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage through the playoffs with a Week 16 win at the Cleveland Browns, who were consequently eliminated in the process. They can do the same to the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) if they win their regular-season finale at home with most of their starters benched for the afternoon.
The Chiefs (12-4) proved worthy of the other first-round bye with a stand-up win over the Chargers, while the Patriots (12-4) flailed against one of the worst teams in the league and slipped back to the No. 3 seed. The Chiefs’ win also solidified the Texans (10-5) as the No. 4 seed with the lowest record among division winners no matter how they finish against the Titans.
The Buffalo Bills (10-5) were still contending for the AFC East heading into Week 16’s matchup with the Patriots, but a loss sealed them in as the No. 5 seed in the AFC. The final wild-card spot was a three-team race coming into Sunday’s round of games, but Tennessee Titans (9-7) emerged as the victor after a massive road win over the Texans to cap their regular season.
What Playoff Scenarios Remain for the Texans?
There is only one postseason scenario left for the Texans now and it goes through the Bills.
Whether they finish the season 10-6 or 11-5, the Houston Texans will host the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs either next Saturday or Sunday with a day and time not yet announced. According to the Bills’ team site, it is the first-ever playoff game for Buffalo in Houston. The Texans also won the last matchup between the two teams in mid-October last season with a 20-13 victory.