The Houston Texans faced a major battle at home on Saturday as they hosted Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans had the knowledge of Tennessee losing earlier in the day to Jacksonville and that set Houston up with a chance to clinch the AFC South. The Texans did just that in dramatic fashion as the Bengals missed a field goal as time expired, a miss that preserved Houston's 12-10 victory on Christmas Eve.

Houston are NFL playoffs bound

The result sees Houston's record improve to 9-6 on the season, one win better than Tennessee's 8-6 record. Houston and Tennessee actually play one another next week and at first glance it might seem that the Titans, with a win, can level things between the two clubs at 9-7.

However, the Texans would still win the division on tiebreakers and next week's game is therefore inconsequential for the AFC South. Titan fans will surely rue the missed Cincinnati field goal as Tennessee would have loved the chance to steal the division in their home venue in Week 17.

The final game of the season may still be of some significance for Houston, that is if they want to improve their playoff seeding. Currently, they appear to be headed toward a fourth seed in the AFC and there is no scenario where Houston do better than a three seed. However, if Houston win their final game to improve to 10-6 then they can hope for other results to go there way to improve to that three seed. First they would need the Ravens to beat Pittsburgh on Christmas Day and then Houston would need Cincinnati to beat Baltimore in Week 17.

The difference between a three seed and a four seed is minor, however in theory it should lead to an easier game during Wild Card Weekend. A three seed also avoids the top seed during the divisional round and might face the Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders. Furthermore, it's possible that a three seed hosts the conference championship game against a four seed if there are divisional-round upsets.

Tennessee Titans can't win Wild Card

For Tennessee, they are eliminated from post-season contention without any ifs, ands, or buts. They can't win the division and a Wild Card is now out of reach as well. They have one game left, yet they face a two-game deficit in the Wild Card standings behind the Miami Dolphins and the KC Chiefs.

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