Are the Houston Texans out of the playoff race with a loss on Sunday?

The Houston Texans playoff fate remains in limbo as Sunday looms.
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans' seasons lay in the balance as Sunday looms closer and closer. The Houston Texans will have one more meeting with the Tennessee Titans, a meeting that for the Titans means very little but for the Texans means everything. The 8-7 Texans are not only just on the outside of the final Wild Card entry for the playoffs but still have a shot at the AFC South.

That is, if they win, and the Jacksonville Jaguars lose. In that scenario, the Texans need to win out and they'll take the AFC South and a home game in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. A loss means no AFC South, at least not without some major shenanigans going on.

But would a loss also end the Texans' playoff hopes? Not mathematically, but with other teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals hovering around the same 8-7 mark, the Texans can't afford a loss on their resume. Right now they hold the tie-breakers with the Bengals and Steelers but a loss throws all that out the window.

They'd still be mathematically alive in the event of a loss, but right now the Texans control their own fate. If they win against the Titans, they'll set up a pivotal matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, a matchup that would determine the final playoff participant. Right now it's the Colts, but with a win over them in one week's time, it'll be the Texans.

That's right, despite all the upheaval this team has gone through, the only thing separating them from the promised land is two straight wins. They don't need to rely on anyone else to get into the playoffs, just themselves. A lot of teams can't say that, but the Texans can.

A loss takes that away, however and further makes it difficult for the Texans to see a post-season to remember.

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