With a victory over the 49ers on Thursday night, the Titans put themselves in prime position to capture the NFC South this weekend.
Derrick Henry’s season-ending injury all but killed the public perception of the Tennessee Titans. Despite a superb record, the general NFL fans and analysts were ready to write them off as a team that was sure to fade into obscurity this season.
That didn’t happen, though. Sure, things were much more difficult for Mike Vrabel’s team without Henry on the field, but they clawed out wins and remained in control of the AFC South. And after protecting their home field on Thursday Night Football as underdogs against the 49ers, they have the opportunity to clinch the division.
Here’s how that’s possible for the Titans to lock up the AFC South and, thus, a playoff berth after the win over San Francisco.
Titans playoff scenarios: AFC South can be clinched on Saturday
Now at 10-5 on the season, the Titans are in the catbird seat to take the division. And with a little help from a rival, they can lock up that title on Saturday.
In the nightcap of the NFL’s Christmas Day slate, the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Arizona Cardinals. While the Cards have been struggling as of late, they are at home and showed early in the season that they are well capable of beating anyone.
Should they be able to return to their quality form and take down the Colts, that would give the Titans the AFC South and punch their ticket to the postseason.
Even if Arizona doesn’t deliver a Christmas present to Tennessee, though, the Titans still sit in a great spot. With a finishing stretch against the Dolphins (at home) and on the road against the lowly Texans while having a 1.5-game lead right now over the Colts, they firmly control their own destiny to take the division again.