The Titans have extended their playoff hopes for the third straight week with a win over the New York Giants. With just two weeks left, Tennessee is close to controlling their own destiny. There could be a play-in game between the Colts and the Titans in Week 17, but a few things need to happen first. Tennessee can not look past Washington on Saturday because losing this weekend would just about end their playoff bid. The Titans currently hold a 38% chance to make the playoffs, but just two things going right for Tennessee could help them get closer to making the playoffs.
Ravens at Chargers (Saturday)
The Titans need one of the top two teams in the AFC North to lose this week. Tennessee fans will have to pay attention to this game just as much as the Titans game on Saturday. Los Angeles is hot right now coming off of a big win on Thursday against the Chiefs. They still have something to play for as they can still become the top seed in the AFC if Kansas City drops one of their last two games. Baltimore needs to win to keep pace in the wild card and AFC North race. The Titans can control their own destiny by 11:30 on Saturday if Tennessee and Los Angeles both win.
Titans playoff chances if Chargers win: 42%
Titans playoff chances if Ravens win: 33%
Steelers at Saints
Pittsburgh finally rebounded after losing three straight games by beating the Patriots. However, the Steelers are a different team on the road and the Saints are much better at home. This seems like the best chance for the AFC North to help out Tennessee. If the Steelers lose and Tennessee wins, Pittsburgh would fall out of the playoff picture. The Titans most likely need one of these two games to go their way because the Ravens and Steelers games next week are not as difficult as these two.
Titans playoff chances if Saints win: 41%
Titans playoff chances if Steelers win: 32%
Jaguars at Dolphins
If the Titans win this week, this game does not matter. The Dolphins loss to the Vikings gives Tennessee the lead over Miami for the last wild card spot. However, there is a slight chance that the Titans can make the playoffs with a loss this week. That is only possible if the Dolphins lose again, so a Jacksonville win would help. Titans fans shouldn’t be worried about this scenario because if Tennessee loses Saturday, they will almost certainly miss the playoffs.
Titans playoff chances if Jaguars win: 39%
Titans playoff chances if Dolphins win: 36%
What if everything goes right?
If the Titans win and all of these games go the right way, Tennessee has a 58% chance to make the playoffs.
If the Titans lose and all of these games go the right way, Tennessee has a 32% chance to make the playoffs.
What if everything goes wrong?
If the Titans win and all of these games go the wrong way, Tennessee has a 38% chance to make the playoffs.
If the Titans lose and all of these games go the wrong way, Tennessee is eliminated from playoff contention.
All playoff percentages come from the New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/upshot/tennessee-titans-nfl-playoff-picture.html#&