The 10-5 Tennessee Titans’ Sunday Night Football loss against Green Bay negatively affected their stance in the AFC playoff picture.

The Colts’ failure to beat the Steelers significantly reduced their chances of winning the AFC South. Because of the Colts’ loss, the Titans would have clinched the division with a Week 16 win, which made this Sunday Night Football matchup crucial playoff picture-wise.

Even though the Titans lost on SNF, they still hold onto first place in the AFC South due to their tiebreaker over the Colts. The Packers’ victory caused the division to still be up for grabs for either Tennessee or Indianapolis. As a result, the outcomes of both the Titans and the Colts Week 17 games will be the deciding factors for the AFC South.

Cleveland’s loss against the Jets certainly shook things up in the AFC playoff picture. Because Baltimore owns the tiebreaker over the Browns, the Ravens were allowed to sneak past them this week. Due to their tiebreaker over Baltimore, Miami’s last-minute miracle against the Raiders not only knocked Vegas out of contention but also caused them to climb up to fifth place.

With the AFC looking as talented as ever, every slot other than the Chiefs’ first seed is still up for grabs.

AFC Playoff Picture – The Titans Need a “W” in Week 17

Dec 27, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown against Atlanta Falcons defensive back Kendall Sheffield (20) in the fourth quarter of a NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-1): 4-1 in the AFC West. 10-1 in conference play. Division and bye clinched.

No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3): 4-1 in the AFC North. 9-2 in conference play. Week 7 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Titans. Division clinched.

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

No. 4 Tennessee Titans (10-5): 4-1 in AFC South. 7-4 in conference play. Owns tiebreaker over the Colts based on divisional win percentage. Week 5 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Bills.

No. 5 Miami Dolphins (10-5): 3-2 in AFC East. 7-4 in conference play. Owns tiebreaker over the Ravens and the Colts based on in-conference win percentage.

No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (10-5): 3-2 in AFC North. 6-5 in conference play. Week 9 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Colts. Week 14 head-to-head tie break advantage over the Browns.

No. 7 Cleveland Browns (10-5): 2-3 in AFC North. 6-5 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.

In the Hunt

Dec 27, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18) catches a thirty-nine yard touchdown pass against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (26) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Indianapolis Colts (10-5): 3-2 in the AFC South. 6-5 in conference play.

The Titans Need to End with a Win 

Titans Vrabel
Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nick Westbrook (15) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Next week, the Titans truly need to beat the Texans in order to take the AFC South. Technically speaking, Tennessee could still win the division if they lose in Week 17 as long as the Colts take an unlikely L against the Jaguars. Even with the Titans’ tiebreak advantage, Indianapolis’ easy end to their 2020 schedule essentially causes Week 17 to be a must-win for the Titans in the AFC playoff race. 

Featured Image: Tommy Gilligan – USA Today Sports
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