The path looks slightly less daunting for the Tennessee Titans.
Just like four weeks ago Tennessee Titans fans went into a game expecting heartbreak and instead found hope, for better or worse.
Ryan Tannehill‘s game winning drive for Tennessee did a few very important things for the now 5-5 Titans.
Firstly, it changed their playoff odds from low single digits to 15% now according to FiveThiryEight. So basically a 500% increase from where they would have been with a loss.
Secondly, made the rest of the AFC South’s path to the playoffs more difficult while the Titans took out one of the most difficult teams left on their schedule. To illustrate this change I brought some nice color coded charts from Mike Clay.
I know those are hard to see so I will just tell you that the AFC South order from last week to this week is as follows:
Jacksonville Jaguars: 10->15
Indianapolis Colts: 17->20
Houston Texans: 27->30
Tennessee Titans: 28->26
From top to bottom that means that the Titans strength of schedule is now only:
-11 places behind the Jaguars (who are only 4-5, 0.5 games behind Tennessee)
-6 places behind the Colts (who are 5-4, 0.5 games ahead of Tennessee)
-And they are now actually four places ahead of the Texans (who are 6-3, 1.5 games ahead of Tennessee)
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The AFC South is just such a weird division and you could make an argument that the Jacksonville Jaguars are the most consistent team, at least from a ANY/A perspective, and they just changed quarterbacks in the middle of the season.
Now you have a banged up Colts and a Texans team that has to face one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.
With four AFC South matchups left for Tennessee, you say that if the Titans just won their division games (obviously a huge if) and got to 9 or more wins that way it would be very difficult for any other team in the AFC South to make the playoffs without playing perfectly outside of those divisional contests.
That win and the 3-1 run that Ryan Tannehill has gone on since becoming Tennessee’s starting QB, has fans and the players believing that anything is possible. Now the numbers are starting to show that as well with the AFC South’s remaining strength of schedule basically trying to force all four teams to end up somewhere between 10 and 7 wins.
Tennessee has a chance and last week I don’t think many of us realistically thought that was going to happen.