The Houston Texans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 21-20 on Sunday, a result that ended the coaching tenure of Jacksonville-coach Gus Bradley. For the Texans, the result improved them to 8-6 on the season and kept their hopes to make the playoffs reasonable. Houston are still alive in both their divisional race and perhaps in the wild-card race with the former clearly representing their best chance to make the post-season.

Houston's remaining NFL schedule

Houston's remaining schedule features a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals next week and then a road game at the Tennessee Titans in the week after. The last game of the season looks like the monster one since Houston and Tennessee are currently tied at 8-6.

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If both teams win in Week 16 to improve to 9-6 then the final week of the season will be for the divisional title.

But if the two teams manage to have identical records at season's then the first tiebreaker method goes by head-to-head records between the two teams (Houston beat Tennessee in Week 4) followed by best winning percentage in the division (Houston is 5-0 in division while Tennessee is 1-3). If Houston falls a game behind Tennessee next week the Texans can still beat the Titans in Week 17 and win the division at 9-7 on tiebreakers.

Indianapolis can still win the division

The Indianapolis Colts at 7-7 are not out of the divisional picture in the AFC South, however their chances of winning it are very remote. The Colts play at Oakland next weekend for what promises to be a difficult game.

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After that they host the Jags to conclude the season. If Indianapolis can get to 9-7 they then need to hope to tie Tennessee - and not Houston - atop the standings. If the Colts were tied with the Texans, Houston would get the tiebreaker nod. However, the Colts would beat Tennessee from the same point of view.

The Colts would win the division in the following scenario: Indianapolis wins both of its remaining games, the Titans and Texans both lose in Week 16, and then the Titans beat the Texans in Week 17. That would see Indianapolis and Tennessee each at 9-7, the Texans at 8-8, and the Colts winning the tiebreaker against the Titans. The Colts can win outright (ie. no tiebreaker required) if they go undefeated for the balance of the season and the Titans and Texans don't win another game (it. the game against one another is a draw).

But from Houston's point of view, they are in the driver's seat. A win next week and a Tennessee loss clinches the division. If things go the opposite way then Houston can still beat the Titans in Week 17 to clinch.

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Importantly, Houston will beat either Tennessee or Indianapolis in tie-breaking scenarios.

If Houston are relegated to the Wild Card race then the scenarios require tons of logical assumptions. Kansas City are 10-4 making them difficult to catch. In fact, if Houston and KC were both to finish 10-6 then there's no need to look at the Texans in the wild-card scenario as they would be division champs. If Houston don't win any more games then they wouldn't catch the 2nd Wild Card team in Miami, a team who are 9-5. If Houston and Miami both finish 9-7 then things get complicated with other teams in the mix and complex tiebreakers.

I think, at this point, fans of the AFC South teams can just focus on the division as their only way into the post-season. I really don't think the 2nd-placed team in the AFC South will be strong enough for a wild card. That's because the Wild Card situation in the NFL has a lot involved with Denver, Baltimore, and Miami in the mix for the 2nd spot. So much has to go wrong for those teams to give the 2nd-place team in the AFC South a chance for the post-season. After next week, the situation simplifies, but right now it's a three-team race in the AFC South with Houston holding the edge in terms of tiebreakers, Tennessee holding an edge as hosts of the Texans/Titans game in Week 17, and the Colts needing to win and then hope for stars to align in their favor. #HoustonTexans #TennesseeTitans #NFL