NASHVILLE – A weekend break allowed the Tennessee Titans to do more than just get away for a few days. It allowed them to break away a little more from the rest of the AFC South.
Eleven weeks into the season, the Titans are one of three first-place teams that have at least three more wins than the second-place team in their division.
In this case, Tennessee is 7-3 while Indianapolis, which has lost four of its last five and fired its head coach during that stretch, is 4-6-1. Jacksonville is next at 3-7 while Houston has the NFL’s worst record at 1-8-1.
Titans players had the weekend off after their 27-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers last Thursday. They are scheduled for their first full practice of the week on Tuesday.
While they were off, the Colts lost 17-16 to the Philadelphia Eagles, who scored the game-winning touchdown (and went ahead for the first time) with 1:20 to play. The Texans lost 23-10 to the Washington Commanders.
By virtue of their record and their place atop the division the Titans currently are No. 3 in the AFC where the difference between the top team and the first one out of the playoff picture is just two victories.
A look at the current AFC playoff race (top seven make the playoffs):
The only other division in which just one team is above .500 is the NFC North. There, the Minnesota Vikings – at 8-2 – are four games up in the win column on Green Bay (4-6) and Detroit (4-7).
In the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs (8-2) gave them a three-game cushion over the Los Angeles Chargers with a 30-27 come-from-behind triumph in a meeting of those teams Sunday night.
The Titans have seven games remaining in the regular season. Three are against division opponents (Jacksonville twice, Houston once) and two are against AFC teams currently .500 or better (Cincinnati and the L.A. Chargers).
Tennessee is one of four teams with a chance to win their division for the third straight season (Buffalo, Kansas City and Green Bay are the others).
In 2020, the Titans finished first courtesy of a tiebreaker (better division record) with the Colts. Last year, they were two games up on Indianapolis and eventually finished with a three-game margin.
The last time any team won the AFC South by four games or more was 2013 when Indianapolis went 11-5, and Tennessee finished 7-9.