The Texans rested their starting running back, their best cornerback, and their tight end this week.
Their starting quarterback T.J. Yates was knocked out of the game early, which brought Jake Delhomme into the mix. Midway through the third quarter, Houston started taking other starters out.
And Houston still almost beat the Titans.
Tennessee won 23-22 in Houston, in large part because Texans coach Gary Kubiak didn’t want to go to overtime. After Jake Delhomme found Bryant Johnson with 14 seconds left, Kubiak decided to go for a two-point conversion.
Texans tight end Joel Dreesen was then called for a false start before Houston’s backup center flipped a shotgun snap over Delhomme’s head to end the game.
In short, the Titans deserve credit for winning Sunday, but they were also very lucky. It typifies their season. They overachieved all year and found ways to win nine games without ever looking particularly dangerous.
The Titans still need a lot of help to get in the playoffs. They still need the Bengals to lose in Baltimore. The Titans also need the Broncos AND the Raiders to win.
Cincinnati beat the Titans in Week 9, so the Titans lose a head-to-head tiebreak with Cincy. They would win a three-way tiebreaker.