Scoreboard watching will not be an issue.
If necessary, Tennessee Titans players and coaches will rely on a satellite to tell them what they need to know.
One thing the Titans have going for them Sunday when they face the Houston Texans (noon, CBS) is that none of the other games being played at that time can produce a result that will eliminate them from playoff contention.
“It’s good that we don’t have to watch the scoreboard or get guys caught up in seeing what other teams are doing at the same time because there is nobody playing that could affect us,” coach Mike Munchak said. “The Jets are the only other game going on and no matter what they do it won’t affect our game as far as knocking us out, it just changes the circumstances depending on what they do.
“Our goal is to be in that situation I guess.”
In order to be in that situation, Tennessee simply needs to beat Houston.
If that happens, the next "must" is for Cincinnati to lose against Baltimore in a game that kicks off at 3:15 p.m. Additionally, based on what the Jets do in their noon game against the Miami Dolphins, certain results in games with Denver and Oakland (also at 3:15 p.m.) are required.
If the Titans lose to the Texans they will be eliminated and none of the rest will have any meaning for them.
“For us right now, it’s just a situation where we’re focused on winning this one game,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “… This is just a chance to win the last game of the season and give ourselves a chance to keep going. … We need to win this game and we know that. That’s where our focus needs to be right now.”
The good news for Tennessee is that Houston has nothing at stake.
The Texans, who whipped the Titans 40-7 earlier this season, already have clinched the AFC South title but have no chance to earn a first-round bye. They are locked into the No. 3 seed for the AFC playoffs.
Houston has, however, lost its last two games.
“You don’t want to have that bad taste in your mouth,” Texans running back Arian Foster, a former UT star, said. “We’ve lost two in a row. You don’t want to lose three in a row in this league, period.”
If the Titans do make it to the playoffs, it will be as the sixth seed.
That would mean a return trip to Houston next weekend for the first playoff game in Texans’ history.
“Pretty much by the time we land we’ll know what the situation is,” running back Chris Johnson said. “We’ll know if we’re getting ready to play Houston again or if we’re getting ready to go home.
“We have to win our game. If we don’t win our game the scenarios don’t matter.”
Neither will the satellite technology.
A look at the scenarios by which the Titans can make the playoffs, according to the NFL:
1) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + OAK loss or tie
2) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + DEN loss or tie
3) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ loss or tie + OAK win + DEN win