Updated AFC playoff picture: Texans can clinch AFC South with help from NFC East

Houston Texans, NFL Playoffs

The latest playoff scenarios for the Houston Texans after defeating the New York Jets on Saturday evening.

The Houston Texans improved to 10-4 on the season with a Week 15 win over Sam Darnold and the New York Jets on Saturday. The win represents the first 10-win season in Bill O’Brien’s five years as the head coach, and temporarily moves Bill O’Brien’s team into the No. 2 seed in the AFC pending the outcome of Sunday’s games.

However, the Texans are still waiting to clinch an official playoff berth.

The Texans can clinch a playoff berth on Sunday with a little help from the NFC East. The Texans need a loss or tie from the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. The Colts host the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys while the Titans have a road date with the suddenly hot New York Giants, although they’ll be without Odell Beckham Jr. for a second straight game.

Houston can clinch a playoff berth with a Miami Dolphins loss or tie and a loss by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miami travels to play the Minnesota Vikings who are playing for their playoff lives as well while the Steelers host the New England Patriots, who are competing with Houston for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

The Texans can also clinch a playoff berth with a Miami loss or tie and a loss by the Baltimore Ravens who host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In short, Texans fans will be rooting for the Cowboys and Giants on Sunday so they can clinch the AFC South and they can play for playoff positioning in Week 16 before determining if they’ll need to play all their starters in Week 17 if there’s a chance to earn a bye. If they’re locked into the No. 3 seed, O’Brien may elect to sit some of his key starters in the season finale to make sure they’re as healthy as they can be for their first round playoff game.

AFC playoff picture after Texans beat Jets

  1. Chiefs (11-3)
  2. Texans (10-4)
  3. Patriots (9-4)
  4. Steelers (7-5-1)
  5. Chargers (11-3)
  6. Ravens (7-6)

In Hot Pursuit

  • Dolphins (7-6)
  • Colts (7-6)
  • Titans (7-6)
  • Broncos (6-7)
  • Browns (5-7-1)
  • Bengals (5-8)

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