The Titans playoff hopes took a hit last week against the Houston Texans. They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves this week against the New Orleans Saints who have already clinched the NFC South.
The loss last week to the Texans severely hurt the Titans playoff hopes. After the Texans win yesterday against Tampa Bay, the Titans can no longer win the division. The playoff picture now gets a little hairy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers stand in the way of a playoff bid. The Steelers are tied with the Titans at 8-6. The following scenarios are how the final wild card spot will play out.
- If Steelers go 2-0, Titans miss the playoff
- If Steelers go 1-1, Titans need to win one game
- If Steelers go 0-2, Titans make playoffs
Offense Needs to be Better
It goes without saying but the offense was very dead in the water last week against the Saints. An injured Derrick Henry didn’t do them any favors as he ran for only 86 yards on 21 carries without a score. A.J. Brown stepped up and had a huge day but still was not enough to overcome a slow day for the offense.
The offense was largely quiet outside of a couple explosive plays through the air and a long run by tight end Jonnu Smith. The Titans won’t be able to put so much dependency on keeping the game close on the defense again.
Last week’s 24-21 loss was held so close only because of a strong defensive performance. The Titans defense intercepted Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson two different times inside the red zone.
As has been the case all season, the Titans will need to ride the legs of Derrick Henry to the playoffs. It’s a lot to ask but they remain in position to make the playoffs due in large part to big games from the Alabama runningback. He failed to reach 90 yards for the 8th time this season, resulting in a 2-6 record.
With the Texans’s win yesterday the game today ultimately has no meaning. The only way a win comes into play is if the Steelers lose to the Jets but beat the Ravens, in which case the Titans would need to win both games to take the wild card.
No matter what, the final playoff spot will come down to the last week of the season. Win or lose for either team tomorrow, the final spot comes down to who can take care of business in week 17.
With that in mind, the Saints are still fighting for a first round bye in the playoffs. They are coming off a dominant performance against the Colts. They are 4-1 in their last five games with the lone loss a close 48-46 game to the 49ers. With so much at stake, the Saints look to be a comfortable favorite.
“From Our Haus to Yours”