AFC South Who to Root For: What's Best for Texans, Colts and Jags in Week 10

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

Welcome to "Who to Root For."

Every week from now until the end of the season, this column will help fans of teams in the AFC South know how to root in the games that don't involve their favorite team.

Because playoff tiebreakers and draft scenarios are often tricky, this space will help guide you through the Week 10 slate so you can understand how each game affects your team.

 

Houston Texans

Playing for: the top overall seed in the AFC. Their current odds are 97 percent (per Advanced NFL Stats).

Top Competitors: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens

Where They Stand: Houston has a one-game lead plus a tiebreaker over Baltimore. It has a two-game lead over New England and is up two games plus a tie breaker over Denver.

Who to Root For:

Oakland over Baltimore

Buffalo over New England

Carolina over Denver

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

 

Indianapolis Colts

Playing for: a wild-card berth (41 percent), a possible division title (3 percent).

Top Competitors: Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Houston Texans

Where They Stand: Indy has a 1.5-game lead plus a tie breaker over Miami. It has a .5-game lead plus a conference tie breaker over Pittsburgh. The Colts are up 1.5 games over the Chargers and 2.5 over Cincinnati. They are up 2.5 games over the Jets but would lose a tiebreak.

Who to Root For:

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Tennessee over Miami

Tampa Bay over San Diego

New York Giants over Cincinnati

Chicago over Houston

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Playing for: the top pick in the 2013 draft. Their odds stood at 35.3 percent before losing to Indianapolis.

Top Competitors: Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns

Where They Stand: The Jaguars now have the worst record in football by virtue of having played one more game than the Chiefs. The first tiebreaker is strength of schedule, with the worst SOS getting the top pick.

The Chiefs' opponents are 35-29. The Jaguars' are 47-29, meaning Kansas City would win the tiebreaker.

Who to Root For:

Jaguars fans have to root against teams the Jaguars play and for teams the Chiefs play.

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Oakland over Baltimore (Kansas City plays Oakland twice)

New York Giants over Cincinnati

Buffalo over New England

Carolina over Denver

San Diego over Tampa Bay

Miami over Tennessee

Seattle over the New York Jets

Chicago over Houston

 

Note: the Tennessee Titans stand at 3-6 and are in no-man's land. We'll wait another week before adding them into the mix. They are probably best served hoping for draft slotting, but should they beat the Dolphins, they could still harbor fringe playoff hopes.

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