If the season ended today, Tennessee would finish in a 4 way tie for 6th, with Cincy getting the nod based on conference record (they have played more conference games). The Titans are 2 games back in the division and the Texans are doing everything they can to keep our hopes up in that race. The Titans final three games all appear winnable against division opponents as all will likely have nothing to play for at that time, but first the Titans have to deal with the tough challenge of the Saints offensive machine.
It is a very difficult road for the Titans to win their division. The only way, is to finish with a better record then the Texans. Houston has a two game lead with four games remaining. Assuming the Titans lose to the Saints, this means the Titans need to win the remaining three games and have the Texans lose all four.
If we finish with the same record as Houston then we have to look at the tie breaking options.
A. Head to Head - we would have to win the final game against them to split this.
B. Record in the division - We have 2 division loses, the Texans have none. They need to lose to us and the Colts and have the Titans win the last three division games. Who's going to lose to the Colts?
C. Common Opponents - Currently they are 7-2 vs. our 5-4; if we end up with the same record as a result of beating them in week 17 there is no way we can tie on this factor.
So the only way to win the division is to finish with a better record, but even with their top two QB's, top two LB's and best WR out I doubt they lose to Cin, Car, and Indy.
So its off to the wild card race
We are tied with Cincy, Oakland/Denver, and New York. The Steelers/Ravens have the fifth seed and a two game lead, while a collapse by one of these AFC North teams would be nice, I'm not going to factor it in just yet.
In a two team tie
-Cincy beats us head to head
-We beat Denver on head to head
-We likely beat Oakland and New York because they have one more conference loss
In a three (or more) way tie the rules are a little different
A. if a team has beaten each team they win, if a team has lost to each team they are eliminated. Oddly enough there is not a scenario where this is in play.
B. Conference record is the next tie breaker Denver is an amazing 6-3 in the conference Cincy has the same amount of conference losses as the Titans and the raiders/jets are a game behind.
We need to win all our conference games, have cincy lose another (houston and baltimore still on sched.) and Denver win the division or lose another conference game (pats in week 15) and we win a group tiebreaker.
So without further ado here's who you need to root for in week 14
Browns @ Steelers (-14.5) A steller steeler collapse could open the 5th wildcard spot, unlikely but why not cheer for a Longhorn QB
Bucs @ Bedazzlers (+1) Maybe if the bedazzlers win they keep the interm coach, and we don't need to hear about Jeff Fisher twice a year.
Saints @ Titans(+4) Conspiracy theory. 90% of the bets in Vegas are on the Saints, but the line actually moved the other way, which means the 10% are laying some big money on Tennessee. The fix is in.
Colts @ Ravens(-17) A Ravens loss brings then back into the race for the wildcard
Texans @ Bengals(-3) almost impossible to catch the texans so we need them to beat the bengals and drop their conference record and back in the wildcard race.
NFC division games are mostly meaningless (other then a little strength of victory)
Remember if cheering 1000 miles away doesn't help , then why do they put the games on TV!