The Tennessee Titans brought the Lions down this Sunday, allowing them to hold onto fourth place in the AFC playoff race and secure ten regular-season wins for the first time since 2008. 

As the 2020 regular season is nearing its end, the AFC South is trending toward a photo-finish between the Titans and the Colts.

With their Week 15 victory, the 10-4 Titans remain on top of their division by the skin of their teeth. Indianapolis’ win against the Texans also allowed them to advance to 10-4 and remain neck-and-neck with Tennessee in the AFC South. Because the Titans prevail over the Colts in a tiebreaker situation based on divisional win percentage, Indianapolis still remains in second place with a 3-2 divisional record. 

Buffalo’s monstrous victory against Denver on Saturday allowed them to stay one game ahead of the Titans, hold onto the third seed in the playoff picture, and win the AFC East. 

Since Tennessee owns the tiebreaker over Buffalo based on head-to-head win percentage in the playoff race, Titans fans should root against the Bills in the coming weeks. In the event that the Titans win out, Tennessee could snatch third place if Buffalo ends up losing at least one more game. However, the Bills are looking scorching hot, and the Patriots and Dolphins most likely will have a tough time beating the AFC East Champs.

AFC Playoff Picture – The Titans Stay Strong

Dec 13, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (88) makes a catch over Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (13-1): 4-1 in the AFC West. 10-1 in conference play. Division clinched.

No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2): 4-0 in the AFC North. 8-1 in conference play. Week 7 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Titans. Playoff berth clinched.

No. 3 Buffalo Bills (11-3): 4-0 in the AFC East. 8-2 in conference play. Division clinched.

No. 4 Tennessee Titans (10-4): 4-1 in AFC South. 7-4 in conference play. Owns tiebreaker over the Colts based on divisional win percentage.

No. 5 Cleveland Browns (10-4): 2-3 in AFC North. 6-4 in conference play. Owns a wild card tiebreaker over the Titans based on head-to-head win percentage. Week 5 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Colts.

No. 6 Indianapolis Colts (10-4): 3-2 in the AFC South. 6-4 in conference play.

No. 7 Miami Dolphins (9-5): 3-2 in AFC East. 6-4 in conference play. Owns tiebreaker over Baltimore based on in-conference win percentage.

In the Hunt

Dec 20, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) runs during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Baltimore Ravens (9-5): 3-2 in AFC North. 6-5 in conference play.

No. 9 Las Vegas Raiders (7-7): 3-2 in AFC West. 5-5 in conference play.

Ideal Playoff Scenarios for the Titans

Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith (81) runs with the ball while defended by Detroit Lions strong safety Duron Harmon (26) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC is looking considerably competitive in these last couple of weeks of the season. While a Titans and Browns rematch would be a great opportunity for Tennessee to get their revenge, stealing third place away from the Bills would most likely allow the Titans to avoid the Chiefs in the divisional round. Kansas City is arguably the best team in the NFL, and facing them fresh off a bye would be no easy task for the Titans. In an ideal situation, the Titans would secure the third seed, play the sixth seed in the first round, and avoid the Chiefs in the divisional round.

Featured Image: Christopher Hanewinc – USA Today Sports


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