Hard to Believe, but 10-6 Might Be Good Enough
In no way am I suggesting the Titans will run the table the rest of the season and go 10-6, but remember when we thought even 10-6 wouldn't be good enough? Now it seems likely it will be.
After the division leaders, the current Wild Card contenders are:
Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and the now-lowly Denver, at 6-4.
Miami, Baltimore, and Houston, at 5-5.
Tennessee and the suddenly-can't win Jets are next at 4-6.
So there isn't a team exactly running away with it in the second tier right now, and looking at the remaining schedules for these teams, it's likely 10-6 will get in, and possibly even 9-7.
Things can change, but in this group of teams we have Denver and the Jets just fading completely right now.
Baltimore and Pittsburgh have to play each other twice still. Pittsburgh still has the Packers and Miami on the schedule, too. Baltimore might have the easiest road left of all these teams, but they still have the Packers and they're such a who-knows? team they could easily lose at Oakland at the end of the year.
Houston has Indy, Jacksonville, Miami, and New England left as the tough games.
Anyone trust Jacksonville in this mix? They just barely beat Buffalo last week and now they play San Fran on the road, which will be a tough game, Houston, Miami, and New England for the next 4 games.
Miami has to play New England, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, and Pittsburgh to end the year. Anyone seeing them go 5-1?
Denver: Giants, Colts, Eagles. They have several other interesting games, 2 with KC and 1 with Oakland. Anyone seeing them going even 4-2 on this stretch?
The Jets, who I think are completely insignificant at this point (and yes, they beat the Titans and have the same record...which satisfies me no end after hearing the 3-and-0 chants after that game), still have to play Carolina, Atlanta, Cincy, and Indy.
Again, I'm not even saying the Titans will go 10-6, but that 10-6 will get the playoff berth. The Titans have a pretty rough road ahead as well, with Arizona, Indy, Miami, and San Diego left as the tough games. I mean, being 4-6 is not a good prospect going into that kind of remaining schedule. However, they have 4 out of 6 games remaining at home. The way they are playing, the Seattle and St. Louis games should be locks for at least a 6-win season. Come away with winnable games like Arizona and Miami, maybe get a break against Indy or San Diego, you might have a 9-7 team looking at a decent chance.
Kansas City and Oakland, both 3-7 teams, will have lots to say about the Titans' minuscule chances. They've come up with some impressive wins. If they sneak by some of these teams mentioned above, then this could get really interesting. We could be looking at the rare 8-8 team getting in.
Seriously, after the 0-6 start, who thought the Titans would be 2 games away from the leading Wild Card contenders?