Nashville, TN (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans were hoping a 4th and goal touchdown by the Miami Dolphins would allow them to celebrate an AFC South Championship on Sunday. But the Colts sacked Ryan Tannehill and won 18-12 in Miami to keep their playoff chances alive.
With the win for the Texans on Sunday over the Titans, they assure themselves an 8-8 record even with a loss to the Jaguars. The Colts can win against Tennessee in week 17 and finish 8-8 as well, but week 17 might not matter. If the two teams tie in record at the end of the season there are 12 possible tiebreakers the teams could go through to determine who would be the division winner. In this situation, the Texans could clinch the division thanks to the 6th tiebreaker.
After the early games on Sunday, the Texans only need one more game to go their way to clinch a tie in the 5th tiebreaker “Strength of Victory” with the Colts and a win in the 6th tiebreaker “Strength of Schedule.” If the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Denver Broncos on Monday Night the Texans are the AFC South Champions by virtue of winning the 6th tiebreaker.
Going into the games on Sunday the Texans needed the Chiefs, Ravens and Bengals all to win for this scenario to work for them. The Chiefs and Ravens both did their part. Now the Texans wait on the Bengals.
If the Bengals lose to the Broncos on Monday Night the Texans can still win the division in week 17. The easiest way is for the Texans to win the division is to beat the Jaguars at NRG stadium or have the Colts lose to the Titans. The Texans would win the division with a better record. But if the Texans lose and the Colts win in week 17, the only way for the Colts to overtake the Texans in the 5th tiebreaker is to have all seven of these games go like this:
Indianapolis beats Tennessee
Jacksonville beats Houston
Atlanta beats New Orleans
Miami beats New England
Denver beats San Diego
Buffalo beats NY Jets
Baltimore beats Cincinnati
If these seven games turn out like this (along with the Broncos beating the Bengals on Monday Night) the Colts would win the division. If any of these games go the other way, the Texans win the division.
If the Texans win the AFC South they would host a playoff game on January 9th or 10th as the 4th seed.