Titans Defeat Houston, Claim No. 1 Seed In AFC

Photo: Brad Moore/Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans held off a Houston Texans comeback to pull off a 28-25 win, claiming the AFC’s top seed in the 2022 NFL Playoffs.

The Titans fought off injuries and slumps this season to finish with a record of 12-5, which earned the team a playoff bye week. This year, only the top seed in each conference earns a bye week.

“It feels good,” says starting offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. “There are a lot of guys on this team that need that bye, including myself.”

Going into Sunday’s game, Tennessee needed a win to clinch the top seed as Kansas City won its Saturday game against the Bengals. Now, the Titans will get a week to gear up for the winner of Saturday’s (Jan.15) game between the AFC North division winner Bengals and Wild Card team Raiders.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not coming off his best year and statistically is having a down year. However, his leadership throughout the season has helped keep the Titans in the discussion for the top spot. Sunday’s win against the Texans was a great example of how he led the team to victory.

Tannehill through for 287 yards, four touchdowns, and had a 92.3 quarterback rating Though Houston got within three points with four minutes to go, Tannehill led the Titans to three first downs to run the clock out and secure the win.

“It was a hell of a job by Ryan is what I just told the team,” said head coach Mike Vrabel in a postgame press conference. “He came up with some huge plays. I thought he was in command most of the day… I think his toughness continues to show up and that’s what you have to have in this league to play quarterback.”

With this extra week off, the Titans can now focus on getting players healthy, including Derrick Henry who returned to practice last week after being out for two months with a foot injury.

The Titans will face either the Bengals or Raiders on Jan. 22 or 23 at Nissan Stadium.

Steven Boero