Would it truly be a Titans season if it didn’t come down to the wire? For what feels like the 100th year in a row, the Titans will somewhat be playing for their lives in the final week of the regular season. I guess 2020 decided to bring us some sense of normalcy.
That’s the fallout of last night’s embarrassing loss to the Packers. The good news is that the Titans still control their own destiny. They’re 10-5 and all that’s standing between them and their first division title since Kerry Collins was the starting quarterback is the lowly Texans. That’s right, if the Titans beat the Texans in Week 17, they’ll win the AFC South for the first time since 2008.
What happens if the Titans don’t beat the Texans? There’s still an 80% chance they make the playoffs. It would take the following results to occur for them to miss the post-season:
#Titans still have about an 80% chance of making playoffs even if they lose in Houston.— John Glennon (@glennonsports) December 28, 2020
--If you're wondering what would keep Titans out of playoffs, here's at least 1 scenario, per @espn Playoff forecaster:
-Texans d. Titans
-Dolphins d. Bills
-Colts d. Jags
-Ravens d. Bengals
Just to clarify, it would take EVERY SINGLE ONE of these results for the Titans to miss the playoffs. If even one of them goes the other way, the Titans are at least in as a wildcard. I guess the scary part is that many of those results are probable. The Jaguars have already clinched the No. 1 pick, so they no longer have an incentive to lose. It’s worth noting that their only win of the season came against Indianapolis way back in Week 1. Even still, the Colts aren’t likely to blow their playoff chances in Week 17 by losing to the one-win Jags. The Ravens aren’t going to lose to the Bengals either.
All of this should be a moot point because the Titans shouldn’t lose to the Texans. Not with the division on the line.
To look at another scenario, the Titans still have a path to the 3-seed, but it’s an unlikely one:
There is, but not likely. Would involve Bills losing tonight to NE and next wk to Mia, while Titans would need to beat Texans. https://t.co/KN6qOkuuz1— John Glennon (@glennonsports) December 28, 2020
Let’s look at the Week 17 opponent. The 4-11 Texans have nothing to play for. They don’t even have draft positioning to play for. The legendary John McClain who covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle recently reported that DeShaun Watson was unlikely to play in Week 17:
No way Watson plays against the Titans. That won't sit well with the Colts, but that'll be two years in a row he's been kept out of the last game against Tennessee. Last year it was because their playoff seeding was set. This year, it should be to protect him for the new regime.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) December 27, 2020
Not so fast: Watson was quick to say that he WOULD play in Week 17:
Deshaun Watson says he'll play in Week 17 https://t.co/LlEMOfKdzN— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 28, 2020
Let’s be honest. The Texans haven’t won many games even with Watson at the helm, but him sitting on the bench would have been a welcome sight for Titans fans. There’s no doubt that Watson and his supporting cast are talented enough to put up points in bunches against this sorry excuse for a defense — Heck, the Titans needed overtime to pull out a 42-36 win over the same Texans earlier this season.
As per usual, it’s all coming down to the wire. At least the Titans control their own destiny and have a favorable chance to win the division.
We hope we cleared some things up for you.