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NFL Playoff Picture: Titans-Colts is officially a must-win game for both teams

Tennessee still needs just a little help to get into the postseason.

Tennessee Titans v New York Giants Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The good news is that the Titans made surprisingly easy work of the Giants and got some help from a Dolphins loss in Minnesota. That means that Tennessee almost controls its own destiny.

The bad news is that wins from the Colts, Ravens, and Steelers mean that there is virtually no chance that the Titans can make the playoffs at 9-7.

Despite some of those results, the Titans playoff odds jumped to 40% this week. With two weeks left are still three routes remaining for the Titans to make the playoffs, but one is far more realistic than the other two.

Win the 6 seed at 10-6

This is the most likely path by far. The Titans would need to win their final two games at home against the Redskins and Colts and then get one loss from either the Ravens or the Steelers over the next two weeks.

Baltimore plays at the Chargers in Week 16 and then home against the Browns in Week 17. Both are losable games.

Pittsburgh plays at New Orleans in Week 16 and then home against the Bengals in Week 17.

Both the Ravens and Steelers should be underdogs on the road against tough opponents in Week 16 so the Titans have a good chance to get the help they need next week.

Win the AFC South

If the Jets had finished off the Texans on Saturday night this route would be looking far more real, but now it sits as a long shot. The Titans would need to win out and have the Texans lose at Philadelphia and then at home against the Jaguars over the next two weeks to catch them. It’s highly unlikely, but you never know.

Win the 6 seed at 9-7

This route is even more unlikely. The Titans would have to lose to the Redskins, beat the Colts, and then get two losses from either the Steelers or Ravens, and another loss from the Dolphins. That’s a lot of outside help to rely on.

Titans and Redskins both have playoff hopes on the line in Week 16

Tennessee will be heavy favorites at home against the Redskins this week despite the fact that Washington somehow still has a shot at the playoffs themselves. The Redskins win over the Jaguars moved them to 7-7 on the season, just one game back of NFC East-leading Dallas and a half game back of Minnesota for the 6 seed in the NFC. The Cowboys own the tiebreaker which means Washington would have to win out and have Dallas lose out to win the division, but the wildcard is still reachable. Make no mistake, the Redskins are a bad team down to their 4th QB of the season, but it would still be a mistake for the Titans to overlook this game.

Titans-Colts is now a must-win for both teams

Regardless of what happens next week, neither the Titans nor the Colts can make the playoffs without winning in Week 17. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but it sure does feel like the season is building towards a Titans-Colts play-in game at Nissan Stadium. I fully recognize how well the Colts are playing and the fact that Tennessee has never beaten Andrew Luck, but there is nothing I’d love to see more than this matchup with everything on the line.

The Titans have been excellent at home over the past few seasons, winning 15 of their last 18 at Nissan Stadium. It’s time for fans to do their fill it up with two tone blue over the final two weeks.