After defeating the Tennessee Titans yesterday, your Houston Texans have mathematically secured themselves as one of the top-six teams in the American Football Conference and punched a ticket to the postseason. Unlike last season's miraculous ride, this year's trip was expected. The Texans were lauded as a potential Super Bowl team over the summer, and they have shown themselves to be such a team through 13 weeks of the regular season.
Unlike New England, Denver, and Atlanta, all of whom clinched division championships on Sunday, the Texans have not clinched the AFC South Division championship. However, they can do so in Week 14 with the following scenario.
In Week 14, the Houston Texans can clinch the AFC South by...
Tennessee defeating Indianapolis on Sunday AND the Texans defeating New England on Monday Night.
This would make it mathematically impossible for the 8-5 Indianapolis Colts to surpass the 12-1 Texans with 3 games remaining.
Given how Tennessee has played, it is not too terribly likely to happen, but maybe another week on the job will allow their new offensive coordinator to work out the kinks.
Speaking of not likely to happen but plausible, the Texans could also secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in Week 14. Let's see how that could happen, with a tip o' the hat to Nick Scurfield.
In Week 14, the Houston Texans can clinch the AFC's number one seed and home-field advantage if...
Oakland beats Denver on Thursday night AND Washington beats Baltimore on Sunday AND Tennessee beats Indianapolis on Sunday AND the Texans beat New England on Monday night.
In this scenario, Denver and Baltimore, both currently 9-3, would have four losses and could, at worst/best, tie the 12-win Texans. However, Houston would hold head-to-head tiebreakers over both and get the nod for home-field advantage.
Regardless of other teams, Houston would secure home-field advantage with a win on Monday night and then another win in any of the final three games of the regular season.
In other words, Monday night's game against New England is monstrous for playoff positioning.
Edit 1: Per the league, via Kuharsky, the Texans can also clinch a first-round bye this week with:
Houston win AND Indianapolis loss AND Denver OR Baltimore loss.
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