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2016 AFC Playoff Picture: Week Sixteen

Here are the latest playoff scenarios for the Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Confusion. Elation. Life as a Texans fan.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The current AFC playoff projection still has your Houston Texans as the fourth seed in the conference as champions of the AFC South. If the playoffs began today, the Texans would host the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild card game at NRG Stadium on either January 7th or January 8th.

This week’s NFL schedule has your Houston Texans hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on the night of Christmas Eve. Earlier that day, the Titans take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville. If the Jags upset the Titans, the Texans will take the field at NRG Stadium with a chance to win the division on Saturday night; in other words, if the Titans lose to the Jaguars on Saturday afternoon, a Texans’ win over the Bengals clinches the AFC South.

If the Titans beat the Jaguars, however, what happens in the Texans-Bengals game is meaningless. If the Titans win their ninth game of the season on Sunday, the AFC South—and almost surely the division’s sole playoff berth, though it’s technically possible some insanity could ensue that would permit a wild card team to emerge from the AFC South—will be decided in Nashville on New Year’s Day when the Texans and Titans square off.

In short, root for the Jaguars on Sunday. If they beat the Titans, the Texans find themselves in a “win-and-you’re-in” scenario against the Bengals. If the Titans win on Sunday, brace yourself for a “win-or-go-home” game on January 1st.