Let’s check in on the AFC Standings and NFL Playoff Picture after the Texans stunned the Titans in Week 16 and flipped a division lead.
As the NFL season gets closer to the end of the year, games matter more than they ever have for teams trying to punch a playoff ticket.
Even teams that have already clinched spots in the postseason are still jockeying for seeding as the season winds down. Teams like the Chiefs and Ravens were hoping for Christmas miracles to move the NFL Playoff Picture around, but perhaps no team was hoping Football Santa delivered like the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Winners of three in a row — and three season-altering wins, at that — the Jaguars are in a position to not only crash into the playoffs but do so as AFC South division champs.
Jacksonville’s win on Thursday night sunk the New York Jets hopes deeper into a pit of Zach Wilson hate, but it put Doug Pederson’s squad in a spot where a Houston win in Tennessee on Saturday would flip the division lead down South.
Somehow, the fate of the Football Gods were on the side of Jacksonville.
Tennessee fell to Houston and with that result the AFC Standings descended into utter chaos. The loss by the Titans means the Jaguars are now control their playoff destiny, and winning out means they’ll win the AFC South and host a playoff game.
Even if the Jaguars lose, hope is still alive. Tennessee, however, faces an entirely different situation.
The Titans need a ton of help to get back into the playoff picture, a Jaguars meltdown notwithstanding. Tennessee’s best hope, it seems, is to try and sneak into the Wild Card but that would require the Dolphins and Chargers to hit snags down the stretch. Miami is in a tough stretch at the moment but it’s possible that the bottom falls out.
Even if the Titans make a run, there’s a Malik Willis-sized challenge in the way. Willis, a rookie, has struggled to throw the ball in the action he’s seen which presents a pretty big obstacle for the Titans.
The big loser here is Urban Meyer, who has somehow become an even bigger failure for his short tenure in Duval after Doug Pederson took the team he coached last year to the playoffs the first year without him.