The Houston Texans need the Denver Broncos or New England Patriots to lose on Sunday afternoon to avoid having to play in the wildcard round of the AFC playoffs after losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Broncos and Patriots are heavy favorites in their home games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, respectively, meaning that if all goes according to play, the Texans will host the Cincinnati Bengals next week. That is a large and disappointing turnaround from just four weeks ago, when Houston was sitting pretty with an 11-1 record.
Denver is in line for the No. 1 seed, which will give it home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs by virtue of having the best overall record in the conference. The Broncos would be 13-3 with a win, a game ahead of the Patriots and Texans, each of whom would be 12-4 if New England wins. Since the Patriots beat the Texans three weeks ago, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Houston.
As for the Colts, who defeated the Texans, 28-16, they're locked in for a first-round road meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.