Final AFC playoff spot a three-team race: Titans, Steelers, Raiders all in it

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Heading into today, the Titans and Steelers appeared to be locked in battle for the final AFC playoff spot. But today the Raiders emerged as a real threat.

Because the Titans and Steelers both lost, the Raiders won, and some other results that can help the Raiders’ tiebreaker chances fell Oakland’s way, it’s now a three-team race for the final AFC playoff spot heading into Week 17.

If the Titans beat the Texans in Week 17, they clinch the playoff spot.

If the Titans lose and the Steelers beat the Ravens in Week 17, the Steelers get the playoff spot.

But if the Titans and Steelers both lose, that’s where things get interesting. If both teams lose, the Raiders beat the Broncos and the Colts beat the Jaguars, the Raiders are probably in the playoffs. The only thing that could keep the Raiders out in that scenario is a very complex combination of results that would give the Steelers the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Raiders.

This is the combination of results that would almost certainly put the Raiders in the postseason:

1. Raiders beat Broncos.
2. Texans beat Titans.
3. Ravens beat Steelers.
4. Colts beat Jaguars.

None of those results are farfetched at all, although all of them happening simultaneously may be a tall order — especially since the Ravens and Texans may decide to rest their starters against the Steelers and Titans. Ultimately, the Titans are the team that controls its own destiny, and the Steelers are the team with the best chance to capitalize if the Titans lose. But no one should count out the Raiders.

26 responses to “Final AFC playoff spot a three-team race: Titans, Steelers, Raiders all in it

  1. Titans got hosed today. Down 31-28 moving the ball & blatant helmet to helmet hit on defenseless receiver left the guy unconscious on his feet & resulted in a fumble that was returned deep into titans territory. Should have been titans ball at the saints 45 instead it was saints ball at the titans 25. And the saints being a good team of course put the game away there.

  2. With The Duck quacked out and Rudolph injured, Paxton Lynch will ignite the lame duck Steelers O leading them not only to the playoffs but a Super Bowl Appearance! Something in the lower sections, rows A-D.

  3. 1. Raiders beat Broncos.
    2. Texans beat Titans.
    3. Ravens beat Steelers.
    4. Colts beat Jaguars.

    Whoever comes out of this is cannon fodder for the top 3 teams

  4. Like I said, the Texans need to beat and eliminate the Titans. They won’t have a problem with the Steelers or Raiders.

    —————————-

    27-24.

  5. I’m a Steeler fan, but let’s be realistic.

    For starters, pretty much no chance they beat Baltimore next weekend. Offense is too much of a nightmare. 10 points today. Yikes.

    Second, even if they get in, they’re one-and-done, again because of the offense. Only benefit to them getting in — Miami gets a worse draft pick from the Fitzpatrick trade.

  6. Sounds good, but Denver is playing really well with Lock as their QB. He’s 3-1 with the only lose being a snow blizzard game. They won’t win that game.

  7. Between the injuries and the inconsistent play at quarterback, I can’t remember a Steelers offense this inept. I imagine most of the Ravens will pull their starters for the last game. Not sure that would help the Steelers in a win. Texans might pull their starters againts the
    Titans. So not looking good for the Steelers. The Titans have been playing better as a team as of late. This happened last year against the Steelers. They faded late in the season.
    Safe to say the Steelers will be drafting offense next year. They already gave up their first round pick on defense with the Fitzpatrick trade.

  8. After starting the season with the whole Antonio Brown fiasco… I think we can all admit we’d like to see the Raiders make the playoffs. 🤣🤣🤣

  9. Why do the colts have to beat the Jags ? If colts beat the Jags then they will be 8 – 8 like the 3 other teams .if Colts lose to Jags they will end up 7- 9 so that don’t make sence..Colts and Jags both been eliminated for 2 weeks now

  10. What I’m saying is Raiders beat colts already so if both 8 and 8 Raiders are ahead of them already..so in my book only the Titans and Steelers need to lose and of course Raiders win there game then if those 3 things happen Raiders are in..we don’t need score board watch colts game !

  11. It’s funny to me how Steeler fans will blame the 2nd year offensive coordinator but lay no responsibility at the feet of the head coach. When the offense was LOADED with talent the defense sucked. We lost games we shouldn’t have, we over looked weaker opponents, we rarely show up to play in the biggest of games. Our o-line has played like crap this year. Losing coach Munch was a huge hit. He was by far and away our best coach. Now the defense is LOADED with talent (11 1st rounders) and our offense suffered some loss. Yet we still lose for the same reasons. Welcome to life after Ben. I knew Tomlin was bad but now I realize just how much Ben covered up our CRAPPY coaching. Save me the never losing season crap. Longevity isn’t the same as quality or consistency. Longevity could also create apathy.

    TIME FOR A NEW VOICE, NEW DIRECTION, AND NEW COACH. Too many wasted years and too much wasted talent.

  12. Gonna be fun watching the Steelers get smoked by Baltimore’s practice squad.

  13. icemanxx says:
    What I’m saying is Raiders beat colts already so if both 8 and 8 Raiders are ahead of them already..so in my book only the Titans and Steelers need to lose . . .
    ==

    When two teams are tied head-to-head is the first tiebreaker. When more than two teams are tied then head-to-head goes out the window, unless one team beat all the others it is tied with, which isn’t the case here. The Raiders win over the Colts in a non-factor.
    With division records also not in play, the tiebreakers will come down to a list that includes won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference, won-lost-tied percentage in common games, strength of victory, strength of schedule et al.

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