Battle For The AFC South Title Continues in Week 16

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The AFC South Title race is heating up as we head into the end of the NFL season. The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are deadlocked at the top of the division with identical 10-4 records.

The Titans will play the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans to close out the season while the Colts face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Titans Offense is Propelling Them Towards an AFC South Title

Ryan Tannehill and AFC South-leading Titans offense has looked potent of late, outscoring the Jaguars 31-10 and the Lions 46-25 in their two most recent games.

Tannehill completed 21-of-27 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 46-25, Week 15 win over the Lions while also rushing three times for 21 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

That leaves Tannehill with 3482 total yards for the year, a 248 yards a game average, and 31 touchdowns.

Derrick Henry has also been a beast for Tennessee with 1,679 yards on the ground and 5.2 yards per carry. He has 15 touchdowns and 19 receptions. The total yardage is a career-high for Henry. He is now the fourth player in NFL history to run for 1,500 yards and 15 TDs in back-to-back seasons. His 15 TD runs are tied for the league lead.

The Titans offense is number two overall in the NFL in efficiency and now lead the league with 436 total points scored. They will have their hands full, though, when they face 11-3 Green Bay Packers on Sunday. It will be a big test for Tennessee but they lead the all-time series between the two teams with seven wins and five losses. They beat the Packers 47-25 in Nashville on Nov. 13, 2016.

Colts Defense Has Kept Their Division Hopes Alive

While the Titans have been all about scoring on offense, The Colt’s defense has been the key to many victories for them this season. To stay on script for them, their AFC South Title quest hinges on their defense shutting down the Steelers on Sunday.

DeForest Buckner was acquired from the San Francisco 49ers in the off-season and he has been full value for Indy. He has recorded 52 tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 24 QB hits. He will be even more motivated for the rest of the year because of his pro-bowl snub.

Along with Buckner. who won AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15, cornerback Xavier Rhodes (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3), linebacker E.J. Speed (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 10), kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 11) and cornerback Kenny Moore II (AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 14) have all won the award at least once this season.

The Colts defense ranks seventh in the NFL in yards per game (334.1 avg.) and fifth in rushing yards per game (98.1 avg.) Indianapolis is third in the league in takeaways (24) and fifth in interceptions (15).

We know that The Colts need to beat the Steelers and the Jaguars in order to win the AFC South Title. It would help if the Titans lost to Green Bay and or Houston but it’s not likely they will lose both games since the Texans are 4-10 and were beaten 42-36 by the Titans in overtime back in October.

The Colts face a Steelers team that went from 11-0 to 11-3 and while you wouldn’t say that they are struggling, the hot start has cooled the Steelers with their most recent loss to the Bengals. It’s going to be tough for the Colts to take down the Steelers because I don’t see Pittsburgh losing four in a row.

The AFC South Title race will likely come down to the final week of the season when the Titans and Colts face their division rivals in the Texans and Jaguars. Neither the Jaguars nor the Texans should present a serious challenge which makes this week’s games all the more critical for Tennessee and Indianapolis.

Thanks for reading my article about the race for the AFC South title. Follow me on Twitter for more great content @lebaneb

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.