Whether you want to believe it or not, the Houston Texans are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Even more surprising, neither are the Jacksonville Jaguars. Clearly, both teams need a lot of help to reach the playoffs, but one of the teams’ hopes will be shattered as they will play each other on Thursday.
Win and stay alive, lose and get eliminated.
The teams are still alive right not because of the AFC’s lack of great records. A 6-10 team has just a chance as anyone to make the playoffs, despite needin so much help the likelihood of making the postseason is improbable.
Tania Ganguli of ESPN broke down the Texans’ chances, and boy do they look slim. But slim chances are better than non-existent.
Vikings beat Ravens in Baltimore (good luck with that)
Bengals beat Colts in Cincinnati
Patriots beat Browns in New England
Raiders beat Jets in New York (the Raiders have to lose out after winning this game because at 6-10 they would win a tiebreaker with the Texans because of their head-to-head win)
Steelers beat Dolphins in Pittsburgh (the Dolphins have to lose out, but the Steelers will have to lose the rest of their games after beating the Dolphins, lest they rise to 7-9)
Buccaneers beat Bills in Tampa
Broncos beat Titans in Denver
Giants beat Chargers in San Diego (the Texans will need a win over the Raiders out of San Diego later, so they need a loss this week)
Broncos beat Chargers in Denver
Bears beat Browns in Cleveland
Patriots beat Dolphins in Miami
Chiefs beat Raiders in Oakland
Panthers beat Jets in Charlotte
Bengals beat Steelers in Pittsburgh
Lions beat Ravens in Detroit
Bills beat Dolphins in Buffalo
Browns beat Jets in New York
Packers beat Steelers in Green Bay
Raiders beat Chargers in San Diego
New England beat Ravens in Baltimore
Bengals beat Ravens in Cincinnati
Jets beat Dolphins in Miami
Patriots beat Bills in New England (the good news for Houston is home-field advantage will still be contested at this point)
Browns beat Steelers in Pittsburgh
Broncos beat Raiders in Oakland
Chiefs beat Chargers in San Diego
If all of this happens, plus the team wins the rest of their games, then the Houston Texans will make the playoffs as the 3 seed.
For Jacksonville to have a shot at making the postseason, they need a lot of help themselves.
Michael DiRocco of ESPN breaks down what has to happen for Jacksonville to have a shot of their own.
Week 14 (* denotes home team)
Denver* beats Tennessee
New England* beats Cleveland
Oakland beats New York Jets*
New York Giants beat San Diego*
Miami beats Pittsburgh*
Tampa Bay* beats Buffalo
Denver* beats San Diego
Kansas City beats Oakland*
Chicago beats Cleveland*
Carolina* beats Jets
New England beats Miami*
Arizona beats Tennessee*
Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh*
Detroit* beats Baltimore
Buffalo* beats Miami
Minnesota beats Cincinnati*
Jets* beat Cleveland
Green Bay* beats Pittsburgh
Oakland beats San Diego*
New England beats Baltimore*
Cincinnati* beats Baltimore
Cleveland beats Pittsburgh*
Denver beats Oakland*
Houston beats Tennessee*
Jets beat Miami*
Kansas City beats San Diego*
The Jags also need to win out, which doesn’t seem too far-fetched, as they have Houston, Buffalo, Tennessee, and Indianapolis left on their plates.