AFC South playoff picture

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With just two more weeks in the season, the AFC South divisional race got a little clearer Sunday. At least it did for the Houston Texans, who came into Nissan Stadium in Nashville trying to inch a little closer to their second straight division title.

The Texans were able to get the upset over the favored Tennessee Titans, 24-21.

Offensively, the Texans found great success behind running back Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has had a history of playing very well against his in divisional rival, did not disappoint going for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Defensively, the Texans forced a key turnover as the Titans looked to take the lead early in the first quarter. But Titans tight end Anthony Firkser got hit right at the goal line, and defensive end Whitney Mercilus was able to pick off the ball and return deep into Titans territory.  It was a great game, and despite a late rally from the Titans, the Texans closed the game out by recovering a very short on-side kick.

Next up?  The Texans will travel to the Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.

Following their loss to the Texans, the Titans now find themselves in a must-win scenario. This won’t be an easy feat because the New Orleans Saints are coming to town. Those are the same Saints who are in a four-team tie for first in the NFC. A game the Titans are not favored to win.

Fun facts from Sports Illustrated about Sunday’s match-up:

  • Wide receiver Michael Thomas, or better known as ‘Can’t Guard Mike’, needs just 10 receptions on Sunday to tie WR Marvin Harrison for the single-season catch record (143) set in 2002. Naturally, 11 will give him the record.
  • QB Ryan Tannehill is 6-2 this season and has been pretty accurate (71.2 percent) and relatively mistake-free (11 touchdowns to 2 interceptions) in his past five games. Holding a league-high 30 points per game.

The Titans placed kicker Ryan Succop on injured reserve and signed kicker Greg Joseph off the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad. Succop has been battling a knee injury all season long. The Titans finally came to the decision that the knee just wasn’t strong enough to finish the season.

Meanwhile, the Saints, who are gearing up for a Super Bowl run, added cornerback Janoris Jenkins, pass rusher Noah Spence, and picked-up safety, D. J Swearinger, on Wednesday.

Titans will need to take full advantage of their last home game of the season before their pivotal rematch with the Texans on December 29th.

Talk AFC South with Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303

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