Things were looking pretty peachy for the Titans at the halfway mark of the season. Boasting a 6-2 record, they were in the catbird seat for the first wildcard spot and were only one game behind the Colts for the AFC South lead.
The Titans have fallen into a tailspin since then, losing three in a row and four of the last five. Not coincidentally, the three straight losses were without Albert Haynesworth, who also missed much of the fourth quarter when the Chargers made their comeback against the Titans.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars, Browns and Bills have been taking care of business, leaving the Titans on the outside looking in and needing a lot of help.
AFC Wildcard Race:
Team W-L AFC
Jacksonville Jaguars 9-4 6-3
Cleveland Browns 8-5 6-4
Buffalo Bills 7-6 6-5
Tennessee Titans 7-6 4-5
Ken Roberts has a "probability of making the playoffs" website which calculates the Titans went from a 48% probability of making the playoffs to a 15.5% probability after the Chargers loss, a decline of 32.5 percentage points. Quantitative analysis aside, the loss was a real body blow to Tennessee.
There's no doubt the Titans must win out now to even have a chance with a 10-6 record and that might not be good enough.
No need to go into all the different scenarios and tiebreaker possibilities at this time -- if the Titans don't take care of their own business by winning out, none of that stuff will matter anyway.
- Jaguars - at Pittsburgh (9-4), vs Raiders (4-9), at Houston (6-7)
- Browns - vs Bills (7-6), at Cincinnati (5-8), vs 49ers (3-10)
- Bills - at Cleveland (8-5), vs Giants (9-4), at Philadelphia (5-8)
- Titans - at Kansas City (4-9), vs Jets (3-10), at Indianapolis (11-2)