It is hard to stomach and even harder to say, but Tennessee Titans fans should be cheering for…the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
Not only do the Titans control their own path to the playoffs, but they are in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC. For the first time in a long time, the Tennessee Titans don’t “need” any help from other teams.
Despite not needing anything from anyone, an Indianapolis Colts win over the Buffalo Bills helps the Titans short-term and long-term.
Short-term, a Colts win this weekend would increase the Titans’ odds at a playoff bye from 73% to 76% according to the simulations. The Buffalo Bills are technically the top competition for Titans in the hunt for the 1-seed even though they only have a 9% chance at the top spot right now.
A loss to the Colts would essentially eliminate them from the 1-seed conversation.
The outlook on Derrick Henry’s health gets more optimistic by the day, and an extra week of rest could mean all the difference in the world for the Titans’ Super Bowl chances.
Why does a Colts win help the Tennessee Titans long-term.
At this point it is clear that trading that draft capital for Carson Wentz was a mistake, at least it is clear to anyone watching the games and not just looking at the box score. While the Tennessee Titans aren’t getting much in their offseason trade for Julio Jones, at least a 1st round pick isn’t involved.
In case anyone has forgotten, the deal was that the Colts would give up a 2021 3rd round pick for Carson Wentz as well as a 2022 2nd round pick. However, the 2022 pick was conditional and it becomes a 1st round pick if Wentz either:
1. Plays 70% of the snaps and the Colts make the playoffs
2. Plays 75% of the snaps and the Colts miss the playoffs.
70% of the snaps in a 17-game season means about 12 games and 75% means about 13 games.
A win on Sunday would mean that the Colts would sit at 6-5 and they would be right in the mix for a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
On the flipside, a Colts loss would put them at 5-6 and they still have games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Las Vegas Raiders on the schedule. One bad loss could force the Colts to consider benching Wentz to save the future 1st round pick (which is probably the smart move anyway if you are Indianapolis). A 7-10 record isn’t going to get you into the playoffs even with the new added team.