At about halftime of week 15’s early games, things were looking very good for the Indianapolis Colts. They were destroying Minnesota on the road. The Titans were down by 10 at Kansas City. The Texans had benched Brock Osweiler after some early interceptions and continued ineffectiveness, and trailed Jacksonville by double digits.
That all changed quickly at the end of those games, as Tennessee hit a game-winning field goal at Kansas City, and Houston took a late lead to complete the comeback with Tom Savage at quarterback.
Here’s where we stand now:
Houston has already clinched the tiebreakers over either Tennessee or Indianapolis, because they are now 5-0 in the division. The division likely comes down to the week 17 game now between Houston and Tennessee, with Indianapolis holding out hope for a end run if Houston loses the last two and Tennessee loses next week. Here are the division winning scenarios for each team.
Houston wins the division by
- beating Cincinnati at home next week and Tennessee losing at Jacksonville, in which case it would be decided before week 17; OR
- beating Tennessee in week 17.
Tennessee Titans win the division by
- Winning the last two games; or
- Beating the Houston in week 17, and having Houston lose or tie at home to Cincinnati, and having Indianapolis lose or tie one of the remaining games.
Indianapolis Colts win the division by winning the last two games, AND
- Tennessee and Houston both losing next week, AND
- Tennessee beating or tying Houston in week 17.
Houston may have gotten a second life with Brock Osweiler getting benched, and things should get very interesting heading into the Christmas Eve games. Houston will know if they can clinch or not, since they play the night game on Christmas Eve. They could conceivably rest starters if they know that Tennessee has already won, or know that they can clinch it outright if Tennessee lost.
Here are my estimate on odds of winning division based on remaining matchups:
Houston Texans: 51%
Tennessee Titans: 47%
Indianapolis Colts: 2%
It’s basically a toss-up for the Texans and Titans, with Titans having the home game and the Texans having the tiebreaker if necessary.