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What is the Titans easiest path to the playoffs?

What is the most likely way that can get the Titans to the playoffs?



Must-win games (5)

Week 4 vs NYJ, Week 10 vs JAX, Week 12 at OAK, Week 15 vs ARZ, Week 16 at JAX

-The Titans can easily win these games. The Jets, Jacksonville, Arizona, and Oakland may have the worst rosters in the league and the Titans should honestly have no problem with them.

Should win games (2)

Week 5 vs KC, Week 9 at STL

The Kansas City Chiefs will likely have a rebound year, but keep in mind they have Alex Smith at QB and they will lean heavily on the running game. The Titans retooled defense should be able to hold them to ~17 points, and at home the Titans should be able to run the ball well and make a few key passes.

St. Louis lost their two best offensive skill players (Amendola and Steven Jackson) and still have no #1 WR to worry about. Bradford is an above average QB but he still has never put together a winning season, I doubt this year will prove to be any different.

The "We just need two" games (4)

Week 1 at PIT, Week 3 vs SD, Week 11 vs IND, Week 17 vs HOU

The Steelers are injured, old, and they lack the playmakers they used to have, however I don't consider this an easy win. The Titans have a great chance to pull this off for a number of reasons (Steelers haven't won a home opener in two years, no Mike Wallace, no James Harrison, bad OL, etc.) but until I see the Titans run the ball effectively on the Steelers I have to have this game in this category.

San Diego beat the Titans last year handily, but with an upgraded defense and some intelligent changes the Titans should be able to beat the Chargers at home. The SD offensive line is just plain bad and with a new coach, no running back and Phillip Rivers in the last year of his contract it is hard to see the Chargers having a good season.

Indianapolis will be a tough out. They have a talented, young QB, they made it to the playoffs last year, and they have good WRs, but they are beatable at home. The Colts play all year in a dome so the outdoor stadium may trip them up, and with a no-name defense that shouldn't scare the Titans, Tennessee should be able to pound the ball down their throats.

Week 17 at Houston will depend on their record. If the Texans are sitting starters because they have a guaranteed birth then the Titans could easily be facing T.J. Yates with no Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, or Ed Reed. With the Texans defense de-fanged it should be an easy win. That is if the Texans have enough wins to rest their starters.

The one-win-would-be-great games (5)

Week 2 at HOU, Week 6 at SEA, Week 7 vs 49ers, Week 13 at IND, Week 14 at Denver

Four road games and a game against a team that played in the Super Bowl last year. With the exception of Indy, these are nasty defenses that will fight the Titans for every yard. Not only that, but there are four franchise QBs one this list, with Houston being the exception. If the Titans can beat a "Super Bowl hungover" 49ers, or Peyton Manning on a bad night then the Titans could end up going 1-4 here, but I wouldn't count on it.

If the Titans play the way I think they can that makes five wins from the first category, two from the second, two from the third, and an optional one game from the fourth. That ends up putting the Titans at roughly 9-7 or 10-6. While it may take 10 wins to get to the playoffs, I would bet that Titans fans would be happy just to see a record above .500 again.