NFL Playoff Picture: Teams the Titans wanted to win week 9

Tom Szczerbowski

Whose win puts the Titans closer to the playoffs?

Well, we will start with the obvious...

Tennessee

Obviously Titans fans wanted Tennessee to win, but this was a huge game for the Titans and this may be the most important win of the season.

The Titans were staring right in the face of a 3-5 record, which would have been soul crushing considering how much momentum they had over the first four weeks. Luckily for the Titans, Jurrell Casey (who I should have mentioned in my stock up column) decided to have a big game and get a strip sack late in the fourth quarter.

Luckily, the Titans own tiebreakers over most of the opponents vying for the final wild card playoff spot (AKA WC2) so this win puts them in great position to get in front of the pack in the coming weeks.

Result: 28-21 Titans Win.

Cincinnati

The Titans wanted the Bengals to take a stranglehold of the AFC North by defeating a lackluster Miami team, knocking them out of serious contention for the WC2. Unfortunately for Titans fans, Andy Dalton and company let the Dolphins linger around and ended up losing an overtime game via a Cameron Wake sack.

The Dolphins now hold a 4-4 record, but are seated below the Titans based on conference win percentage. The Titans will be rooting against the Dolphins for most of the season, so keep an eye out for those scores.

Result: 22-20 OT Cincinnati Loss.

Washington

The Titans wanted the Redskins to pull of the upset, and they did so in dramatic fashion. After an impressive goalline stand, the Redskins scored and overtime touchdown to knock the Chargers back to .500. As I am sure everyone knows, the Titans beat the Chargers on that amazing TD to Justin Hunter in the waning seconds of their week three matchup and owns a tiebreaker against San Diego.

The Chargers now sit behind the Titans and Dolphins in the hunt for the WC 2, and still have to play Denver and Kansas City a combined four times. This was a big loss for the Chargers and it puts them behind the eight ball going forward.

Result: 30-24 OT Washington Win.

New Orleans

The Jets had a dominating performance against the Saints, ultimately defeating them despite a late rally. The Jets are an up and down team, and when you don't get pressure on Geno Smith the Jets win. Again, the Titans do own a tie-breaker against the Jets so they are only a half-game behind New York at the end of the day.

If the season ended today the Jets would be in the playoffs in the WC 2, but the Jets erratic style of play should keep Titans fans relaxed. The Jets face talented defenses in Miami (twice), Baltimore, Cleveland, and Buffalo over the rest of the season and if they tie the Titans or do worse, then the Titans win by virtue of tiebreaker.

Result: 26-20 New Orleans Loss.

Kansas City

The Chiefs may not go undefeated, but they won't have a worse record than the Titans. That being said, the Titans will want the Chiefs to take out the competition for them including the Bills, Chargers and Colts.

Kansas City pulled out another ugly win to keep their undefeated streak alive, this time over one of the aforementioned teams: Buffalo. The Chiefs knocked the Bills down to 3-6 and put them almost completely out of the hunt for the WC 2. Unless the Bills manage to go on a 6-1 streak they have no chance.

Result: 23-13 Kansas City Win.

New England

This wouldn't be a necessary or even crucial game, but it is always nice to put out teams like the Steelers out early so that a late season run won't be enough.

Result: 55-31 Patriots Win.

Cleveland

The Browns (3-5) are a half-game behind the Ravens (3-4), so a Cleveland win would put both teams at five losses in a race where a 9-7 Titans team could get in as long as no one is 10-6. Like the Bills, having five losses at this point in the season would be devastating, and it is a fate that the Titans barely escaped from.

Result: 24-18 Cleveland Win.

Philadelphia

Again, not a necessary game but taking the wind out of the Raiders sails three weeks prior to when the Titans meet them is a plus. If the Raiders can be mathematically eliminated the coaching staff and players might not play as hard as they would in other situations.

Result: 49-20 Philadelphia Win.

Houston

I know just reading this will make Titans fans cringe, but the best thing that could happen tonight is that J.J. Watt has an MVP-type game. The Colts offensive line is awful, and without Reggie Wayne the WRs really don't have a leader. If Watt can get in Andrew Luck's face it could force errant throws and eventually a Colts loss.

The Texans aren't out of it, but with five losses and New England, Colts (twice), Denver, and the Titans at home, they have a tough road to the playoffs. If the Colts beat them here it is essentially game over, and if the Colts lose here it is a one-game race in the AFC South with a Titans team that still gets to play Arizona, Oakland, Jacksonville (twice), and Houston in Tennessee.

I won't have a result to this game or it would have to be published on midnight, but I will try to post an update after the game.

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