Sport Bills Playoff Picture: Why I’m rooting for the Titans on Sunday
NFL Power Rankings: Titans are 8-2, but it's hard to trust them as a contender
Mike Vrabel and his staff have done a remarkable job for the Tennessee Titans. The Titans offense that was built around Derrick Henry, and Tennessee hasn't lost since losing Henry. Tennessee's big splash addition was Julio Jones, who has been mostly a non-factor due to injuries and finds himself on IR. There are reasons the Titans are 8-2 and arguably the hottest team in football after six straight wins. And there are also reasons to wonder if any of this is sustainable. In this NFL, where each new hot contender immediately takes a terrible loss, the Titans stand out. They're not losing, and that has them looking like a bankable asset.
Earlier this week we put out. Because we have to cover so many games in that article, I didn’t expand on my thoughts too much for choosing the over the . Enough folks have followed up that I think it bears repeating.
We are rooting for the Titans over the Patriots this weekend. Or at least I am.
The math works out way better this way. The goal of the regular season is to win your division and secure home playoff games, and hopefully you can get the one seed and a bye. The first step there is the division crown.
Falcons' Cordarrelle Patterson game-time decision Thursday vs. Patriots with ankle injury
The Falcons weren't yet willing to rule Patterson out as of Tuesday evening, and that remains the case roughly 24 hours ahead of kickoff. According to Nick Shook of the NFL's website, Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith said that Patterson will be a game-time decision Thursday evening. As noted by Shook and ESPN stats, Patterson has evolved into the Falcons' top ball-carrier out of the backfield, leads the team with five touchdown receptions, and has accumulated 776 yards from scrimmage and seven total scores. Interestingly, it remains unclear who would serve as Atlanta's RB1 on Thursday if Patterson can't play.
With a Titans win, the Bills have a 63% chance of winning their divisionWith a Patriots win, the Bills are .
A Patriots loss this week gives the Bills more wiggle room for a random loss down the stretch.
In the division, a split with the Patriots down the stretch should be enough for Buffalo to win the AFC East. Buffalo would hold the AFC East record tiebreaker thanks to New England’s early loss to the, and Buffalo losing in Week 18 to the Jets seems incredibly unlikely. So you can at least make a case for the Patriots beating the Titans as the preferred outcome, because then the Bills would still control their own destiny.
If I was confident in a Bills sweep of the Patriots, I would go in the opposite direction. I’d root for the Patriots. A New England win this weekend gives the Bills an 8% chance of the top seed in the conference while a loss gives Buffalo just a 5% chance. Not really a huge shift, but the numbers would make it much more possible for the Bills to pass the Titans in the win column.
Either way, a sweep of New England by Buffalo would likely guarantee the division and also give the Bills a legitimate shot at the one seed. With Tennessee dealing with injuries up and down their roster, it has to catch up to them at some point. Even if it’s in the postseason, and Buffalo could still host theGame as the 2 seed.
Also, as much as I really dislike the Titans, I dislike the Patriots even more.
Watch: Titans' Mike Vrabel angrily spiked challenge flag after terrible call .
Vrabel was in disbelief that he had to challenge the play, and he had a very enthusiastic way of showing it. © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Titans head coach Mike Vrabel threw his challenge flag with anger. Titans wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine caught a quick pass on 3rd-and-goal from the 1 and appeared to score, but an official marked him short of the goal line. Even if Westbrook-Ikhine was short when he initially hit the ground, he clearly was not touched before he scooted into the end zone.