NFL: Tennessee Titans-Training Camp
Jul 26, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; during training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

AFC playoff picture, Week 15: Titans, Texans square off

The AFC playoff picture is about to become very clear.

In Week 15, the AFC South will have a definitive leader by the end of the afternoon, while the wild card race will be sorted out with a tiebreaker being decided on Sunday Night Football.

Before we get into what you should be watching for, though, here’s how the AFC Playoff picture looks going into the weekend:

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-3)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)
4. Houston Texans (8-5)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-4)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)

7. Tennessee Titans (8-5)
8. Cleveland Browns (6-7)
9. Oakland Raiders (6-7)
10. Indianapolis Colts (6-7)


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The biggest game this week is the Titans hosting the Texans. Should Tennessee win, it would move to 9-5 and own first place in the AFC South for the first time all year. The Titans have been on fire since inserting quarterback Ryan Tannehill into the starting lineup, going 6-1 in that stretch. If Tennessee wins, it goes from outside the playoff picture to hosting a game. Houston, however, can put itself in a great spot by winning. If the Texans win, they would only need to win one of their final two games to clinch the division.

Another key matchup will take place at Heinz Field, with the Steelers hosting the Bills. Should Buffalo win, it will clinch its second playoff spot in three years. A loss, though, and the Bills fall to the sixth seed via tiebreaker with Pittsburgh. If the Steelers win, they would only need one win to clinch a wild card spot. A loss for Pittsburgh and it moves very close to being out of the dance.

Baltimore already won this week, moving one step closer to the top seed. The Ravens handled the hopeless New York Jets on Thursday night, meaning with one more win over the final two weeks, they’ll clinch the No. 1 spot for the first time in franchise history.


Read: Cardinals Abruptly Release 7 Time Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs


New England should be able to keep faint hope alive for home-field advantage, drawing the Cincinnati Bengals in the Queen City. After losing consecutive games to the Texans and Chiefs, the Patriots get a breather against the one-win Bengals. With a win and a Bills loss, New England would clinch the AFC East, giving it a clean sweep for the decade.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs return home after having beaten the Patriots a week ago. The opponent is Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos, a team trying to win its third straight game. The two teams played back in Week 7 on Thursday night, with Patrick Mahomes dislocating his kneecap. Hopefully he makes it through clean this time around. The Chiefs have already clinched the AFC West.

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