If someone told me at the beginning of the season the Tennessee Titans would be in first place in the AFC South after their bye week, I wouldn’t have believed them. The 3-2 start is a mild surprise, though I would have suspected the losses would be to Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The Titans can thank the Ratbirds for beating the Texans yesterday, dropping their record to 3-3, half a game behind Tennessee. It’s been three weeks since anyone in the division won a game, as the four teams have combined for an 0-7 mark.
Jacksonville hasn’t won since beating the Titans in Week One and Indy hasn’t won yet this season. With eleven weeks to go, it certainly looks like it could be a two-horse race between Tennessee and Houston.
The Titans will host the Texans this Sunday in a battle for the division lead.
Paul Kuharsky points out that Houston has a relatively easy schedule ahead. I’d like to add to that by noting Tennessee’s remaining schedule is a little harder.
The Texans’ remaining games are against the Titans twice, Jaguars twice, Browns, Bucs, Falcons, Bengals, Panthers and Colts. Five of those games will be against teams who are now .500 or better, the remaining five will be against teams who now have a losing record.
The Titans will face the Texans twice, Colts twice, Bengals, Panthers, Falcons, Bucs, Bills, Saints and Jaguars. Seven of those games will be against teams who are now at .500 or better and just four against teams who now have a losing record.
If the Titans are going to have a shot at winning the division, they’ll help their cause immensely by beating Houston this week, which would put the Texans a game and a half behind them. More importantly, they’ll be two games behind in the loss column. The Titans will need that cushion since Houston will have an easier road ahead.
It makes this game all the more important. The Titans really stunk up the joint in their last game, but if they correct some problems and manage a win this week, the division title could be at stake in Week 17.