Titans Analysis: Titans still clinging to playoff hopes

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 11:28pm

The Tennessee Titans are playing the old “one game at a time” card as they try to secure their first playoff berth since 2003.

But that won’t stop us from taking a look at what the schedule holds for the Titans and the other AFC wild-card contenders with four games remaining.

At 7-5, Tennessee is currently tied with the Cleveland Browns for the sixth and final slot in the AFC postseason chase, and would lose the tiebreaker currently because the Browns have played and won one more AFC game than have the Titans.

The Titans’ AFC South rival Jacksonville currently holds the other wild-card slot with an 8-4 mark.

The Buffalo Bills are still in the playoff chase at 6-6 after winning at Washington on Sunday.

Even the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, both 5-7, are still alive, but both are longshots who need to run the table over their final four games and hope for plenty of help, just as Tennessee did last season when it stayed alive until the final week after being 5-7 at this juncture a year ago.

The Titans’ remaining schedule includes Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, a Dec. 16 visit to Kansas City, a Dec. 23 home date with the New York Jets and their finale at Indianapolis. The combined record of those four teams is 24-24, the second toughest schedule among the five teams still in the hunt. However, it could be lessened, if the injury-riddled Colts have nothing to gain or lose in postseason seeding in that last game.

By comparison, the Browns’ opponents — at the Jets, vs. Buffalo, at Cincinnati and at home with San Francisco — are only 16-32 combined, by far the easiest schedule remaining for any contender.

There will be some pivotal games between the contenders as well over the final four games, as Buffalo visits Cleveland on Dec. 16, and the Broncos visit the Texans in a Thursday night game on Dec. 13. Titans fans will want to pull for Houston in that game, simply because if they wind up in a tiebreaker with either of those teams, they have an advantage by having swept the Texans, but would lose out head-to-head against Denver.

Besides, the Broncos’ 5-4 conference record is respectable, while the Texans’ 3-6 record in the AFC and 0-4 mark inside the South Division likely would cost them in any tiebreaker situation.

The Titans are also the only one of the remaining contenders to have nothing but AFC games remaining on their schedule. Tennessee is currently 4-4 against conference opponents, while Cleveland is 5-4 and Jacksonville is 6-3. However, the Titans could offset being behind Jacksonville in the conference if they can defeat Indianapolis and finish 4-2 inside the AFC South. The best the Jaguars can do in the division is 3-3.

Tennessee’s game with the Jets could also come into play, since both the Titans and Browns have games with the Jets remaining, and a team’s record against common opponents is the next tiebreaker after head-to-head and division and/or conference records.

How will it play out? Stay tuned, and remember last season when the Titans entered the final week with the slimmest of hopes, only to have every scenario play out correctly except their own game with New England. That allowed Kansas City, the only team whose odds were longer than the Titans, to slip in and grab the final AFC playoff slot.

Filed under: Sports
By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

WAIT A MINUTE! The Titans have an unrealistic goal in trying to make the playoffs. Their goal should be to crack their heritage of 8 and 8. Now that is something to work towards that is attainable. You cannot maintain self-esteem by having unrealistic goals like going to the playoffs this year. Self esteem is the first building block of success.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

frank brown, please don't ever call yourself a Titan fan again.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Frank's an anti-sport troll Titan. Just don't pay attention to his rants.

By: Rocket99 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I bet that if frank brown had tickets to last Sunday's game, he was one of the fair weather fans that didn't bother to show up because of the threat of a few little drops of rain.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Combined records are misleading. Facing, say, two teams, one at 11 & 2 and the other at 3 & 10, you would say that the combined record of 14 & 12 means you may lose both games, but you are much more likely to lose one & win the other.

By: producer2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Frank,For the record (and hopefully last time) the Titans are 68-58 since 2000. Out of the 32 teams in theh NFL that ranks them as having the 9th best winning record in the league. That is hardly anything to sneeze at. What that really means is that the Titans have a winning heritage and are an elite franchise. Get it straight, use some facts....

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha "Titans still clinging to playoff hopes". Yeah, and the rest of you LOSERS are clinging to hopes of your winning both the Powerball and Mega-millions lotteries. LOSERS in LOSERVILLE, USA! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Oh how cute, little Socrates is skipping school again.

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

socrates, if you are any older than a 5th grader i feel so sorry for you. I mean calling people losers in loserville, usa? Man, hit us where it hurts... get a life, or at least find an insult that is insulting towards others instead of making yourself look like the loser.

By: slacker on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This guy is bragging about having the 9th. best winning record. lol

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Please, you clowns cannot begin to list any reasons that would qualify Nashvillians as anything other than LOSERS. If you think you can go for it.But three areas that qualify you as LOSERVILLE is your public schools and high crime rate and high level of mooches.You are right, these clowns are bragging about a very short term statistic that makes them think they have accomplished something. The point is not how many games a team or person has won or lost the only statistic that is worth bragging about is CHAMOIONSHIONSHIPS won. Being #2 is exactly that...#2 and nothing more.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00


By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

oh, yeah. Spellng "CHAMPIONSHIP" is about all you LOSERS in LOSERVILLE can expect along with a dismal break even record. Y'all must be so proud of yourselves.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I'm certainly proud of you Socrates. It's not everyday a toddler masters the ability to write selectively in all caps.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

gdiafante, sad thing is, he/she has a post in a political story, and I am sure he/she is not a child. That makes this character even more pitiful.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Whether the utterly misnamed Socrates is biologically child or adult, his remarks are imbecilic & bigoted. I stopped reading them days ago, and I advise others to do the same.As for the Titans: They will probably end w/ a winning season, but the playoffs remain a dim hope, and an almost pointless hope, because it's highly unlikely that the Patriots will lose a playoff game. The first Sunday in February looks like Patriots vs. Cowboys.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Anything can happen MJB, the Patriots have shown themselves to be mere mortals after all, and very one-dimensional.Remember a few years ago when the Steelers got on a roll and the Colts had gone 13-0 to start. Who won the SB that year?I agree with the Cowboys though.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

ROCKET99, I have four PSL tickets which I give away with no problems each week. I vowed after watching Al Del Greco and Ray Lewis singlehandedly beat the Titans that I would never again waste my emotions on the Titans. When I am in town I watch on TV until they win or they disgust me. PRODUCER2, I knew I could count on you for a solid rebuttal. You are bright enough to pick a reference point to support your point of view. You know I respect that. I use 8 and 8 as a reference to the Titans being a "mediocre franchise" One Super Bowl (which they lost) in forty years certainly should qualify them for mediocre. Just for fun how many times in the last 20 years have the Titans/Oilers won more than 8 games. Don't get me wrong I am glad the Titans are here. I don't hesitate to buy tickets. I have far too many interests to waste any emotion on this franchise however

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Aw did I write something that hurt your feelings? GREAT! By now you LOSERS should be accustomed to such belittling. I noticed that since you could not name anyting positive about Nashville that you must agree with my assessment of LOSERVILLE, USA.As I wrote earlier, if you are not in the CHAMPIONSHIP game why care what your win/loss record is? You are still LOSERS! I no more belive that Frank Brown owns four PSL but refuses to attend the LOSERS home games played on LOSERFIELD because his feelings were hurt. Oh, yeah. Frank continues to own PSL's and buy tickets for the same reason that these other LOSERS buy lottery tickets. They do it out of the generosity of their hearts. Bless their pointy little LOSERVILLE heads.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think Socrates is really Billy Volek and he's still mad about how the Titans sent him out of town; that would explain the venom and animosity.Back to football, the Titans can beat anyone remaining on their schedule and they can lose to anyone they have left. If they go 4-0 they're in, 3-1 they're in unless something strange happens, they go 2-2 and they have a good chance, 1-3 or 0-4 and let's start talking about the draft and free agency.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Billy Volek, huh? At this point the best that LOOSERVILLE's football fanantic's can hope is for either Bud Adams to sell his investment in the LOOSERVILLE LOSERS or have the courage to bring in a winning Front office and a head coach that can win CHAMPIONSHIPS. But, LOOSERVILLE is so comfortable wallering in its LOOSERVILLE mindset and image I see little demand for raising the bar for performance. Oh, well. To each his own.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I agree, Diafante, that anything can happen. Predictions are crap, really. Occasionally, however, I like to play the game. I disagree w/ you about the Patriots, though. Monday night’s game shows them to be fortunate beyond belief, making things happen when they need to. Nonetheless, they are in the playoffs but still must win at least two games against good teams to get to the Super Bowl. Certainly, the Colts could knock ’em off, and anything can happen on the gridiron. The Browns, Steelers, or Jaguars could surprise them & us. I doubt it, though. At any rate, I have something to attend to every weekend through the first Sunday in Feb. Then, it’s just two months till baseball season again.

By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Socrates, When someone is as intellectually and financially impoverished as you appear to be I have no reason to doubt that you are unable to fathom a person buying 4 PSL's and not attend a game.

By: Socrates on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Okay, since you and The Donald are partners in global construction, and you and Warren Buffett are partners in Berkshire-Hathaway, and you are on the Bill and Mekibda Gates Foundation stratigizing who you will give your billions to, please tell me why you would buy PSL's so you could attend the LOOSERVILLE LOSERS, but when your ego was bruised you refuse to attend the games and you complain about them. But, you can't seem to divest yourself of the PSL's. Why would you do that when according to Titans R Losers, there are people standing in lines eager to throw their money away so they too can support overpaid jocks? Unless of course, it is merely to feed you ego.