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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 15 if you are a Houston Texans fan

The Texans will likely be without QB CJ Stroud for Week 15 vs. the Titans. We go over rooting interests for Houston fans this week.

Davis Mills of the Houston Texans looks on during the second half in the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 10, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Houston Texans entered the season with little to no playoff aspirations. Now, 14 weeks later and we’re looking at a Texans team that has an outside shot to win the AFC South division title. The Texans sit at 7-6, tied with five other teams in the standings. Houston is in 8th place in the AFC and right outside the playoff picture.

QB C.J. Stroud has been ruled out for Sunday due to a concussion. WR Nico Collins isn’t expected to play. So this should be an uphill battle for the Texans in Week 15 vs. the Tennessee Titans. We go over rooting interest for Texans fans this week.

Sunday result: The Texans went into Nashville and got a huge win over the Titans. Tennessee took a 13-0 lead but couldn’t put away a shorthanded Houston squad. Case Keenum did enough to get them in position to tie in regulation and win in overtime. Houston moves into eighth place, tied with the Bengals and Colts, but sitting behind them due to the divisional tiebreaker with Indianapolis.

Steelers vs. Colts

Result: The Colts beat the Steelers 30-13. Indianapolis moves a half game up on Houston while Pittsburgh drops a half game back in the wild card standings.

The Steelers and Colts hold down the 6 and 7 seeds in the AFC going into Saturday’s game. So really a loss for either team is good for the Texans. You just don’t want a tie. As long as Houston can squeak out a win over the Titans, they have a shot to move into a playoff seed no matter what the outcome of Steelers-Colts (except a tie).

Vikings vs. Bengals

Result: The Bengals stormed back from a 17-3 deficit to beat the Vikings 27-24 in overtime. Cincinnati climbed a half game up on the Texans pending Houston’s Sunday game.

The Bengals are also playing on Saturday instead of Sunday. Minnesota is in the playoff hunt in the NFC and this game has a pretty big impact overall on the postseason picture. A Bengals loss helps the Texans because it’s another team behind them in the standings at 7-6. Cincinnati is in 10th place, however, so the Bengals would need some help to jump Houston. Unless the Texans can’t win vs. Tennessee. The Bengals are favored by 3.0 points on the spread on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Lions vs. Broncos

Result: The Lions crushed the Broncos 42-17 to drop Denver to 7-7 in the playoff race. Denver drop a half game back of the Texans

It’s nice because Texans fans have two important days of football this week. Every Saturday game is impactful if you’re a Houston fan. A Broncos loss would be big since Denver is in 9th place and immediately behind the Texans in the standings. As long as the Texans win, they will continue to hold the tiebreak based on conference records over Denver, Cincinnati and Buffalo. The Lions are 4.5-point favorites at home vs. the Broncos on DraftKings Sportsbook.