Conventional thinking was that the Tennessee Titans would beat the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars this afternoon, which would render tonight’s Texans-Bengals game meaningless and make next week’s Texans-Titans regular season finale a de facto AFC South Championship Game.
Conventional thinking, as it can be from time to time, was wrong.
The Jaguars managed to upset the Titans today, which means your Houston Texans can win the AFC South—and clinch a playoff berth—with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on the night of Christmas Eve. Quite a thoughtful Christmas present from our friends at Big Cat Country.
In other words, if the Texans win tonight, they repeat as AFC South champs and NRG Stadium is hosting another playoff game on January 7th or January 8th. If the Texans lose tonight, however, what the vast majority of observers thought would happen before the day started will in fact come to pass next week—a winner-take-all tilt for the AFC South in Nashville, albeit without the Titans having their starting quarterback available (in all seriousness, best wishes on a full and speedy recovery to Marcus Mariota).
Look alive, Texans fans. The stakes for the Bengals game tonight just increased by a factor of win-and-you’re-in for the good guys.