If the Texans (9-3) beat the Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) on Sunday, and the Tennessee Titans (7-5) lose to the New Orleans Saints (9-3) on Sunday, they’ll clinch the AFC South title.
The Texans have never been to the playoffs, let alone won the division. Doing so would guarantee them of playing at least one playoff game at Reliant Stadium. All division winners play their first playoff games at home, and the top two seeds in the conference get a bye week in the first round of the playoffs.
If the playoffs started after last week’s games, the Texans would have had the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They were tied for the top record in the conference with the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh won on Thursday night to improve to 10-3, which has bumped the Texans down to the No. 3 seed for the time being.
The Texans can reclaim the No. 1 seed in the AFC under the following scenarios:
- Texans win at Cincinnati + Ravens win vs. Indianapolis (0-12) + Patriots win at Washington (4-8)
- Texans win at Cincinnati + Ravens lose vs. Indianapolis (Patriots result would not matter)
Here’s an explanation of the seeding and tiebreaker scenarios:
- If the Texans, Patriots, Ravens and Steelers are all 10-3, the Steelers would be eliminated from tiebreaker scenarios for the top seed because the Ravens beat them twice and would be the AFC North leader
- If the Texans, Patriots and Ravens are all 10-3, the Texans would win the tiebreaker based on conference record (Texans would be 8-2, Patriots 7-2, Ravens 7-2)
- If the Texans, Patriots and Steelers are all 10-3, the Texans would win the tiebreaker based on conference record (Texans would be 8-2, Patriots 7-2, Steelers 8-3)
- If the Texans and Steelers are 10-3, the Texans would win the tiebreaker based on head-to-head record (Texans beat Steelers in Week 4)
- If the Texans, Ravens and Steelers are 10-3, the Steelers would be eliminated based on their division tiebreaker with Baltimore, and the Ravens would win the tiebreaker with the Texans based on head-to-head record (Ravens beat Texans in Week 6)
At worst, the Texans will be the No. 2 seed in the AFC if they win on Sunday.
Of course, none of that matters if they don’t win. Kubiak knows that his players know what’s at stake in the division, and he hasn’t even been talking about it to them this week.
“The only thing I know is every time you talk about a scenario, that scenario includes us winning, so let’s worry about winning the next game,” Kubiak said on Wednesday. “Our guys know that.”
Tags: Gary Kubiak, Playoff scenarios
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 1 Comment »