Week 16 was very rough on the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee entered Christmas Eve controlling it's own fate to the playoffs, needing only a win against the 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars to get to Week 17 with a win-and-in game, in-which they would host the Houston Texans. Earlier in the season, the Titans had destroyed the Jaguars in Nashville, so they entered Week 16 heavy favorites to do the same in Jacksonville.
Rallying around their new interim head coach, the Jaguars quickly jumped out to an early lead, dominating on both sides of the ball and jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter. By halftime, they had extended their lead to 19-7. After halftime, things would turn tragic for Tennessee, as they lost their star quarterback, Marcus Mariota, to a fractured leg. Ultimately, Tennessee would fall 38-17, which meant that they no longer could control their own destiny into the playoffs.
The help they needed would need to come from one of two underdogs. To stay alive, the Titans would need the Bills to either defeat or tie the Dolphins OR the Bengals to defeat or tie with the Texans.
With 1:20 left in the 4th quarter, the Bills gave the Titans hope by taking an improbable 31-28 lead. However, the Dolphins would march down the field, and kick a 55-yard field goal to force overtime with :06 left in regulation. On the first possession of overtime, the Bills would miss a 45-yard field goal. After 3-straight punts, the Dolphins would get 1 final chance to score with under 1-minute remaining before the game was declared a tie, and would make the field goal, terminating the Titans chance to make a Wild Card seed.
So, the Titans had one final prayer remaining in their playoff hopes. With a Bengals victory over the Texans, Tennessee would, again, control it's own playoff destiny entering Week 17. With a Texans victory, the Titans would be officially eliminated from the playoffs. Early in the 4th quarter, Cincinnati laid claim to a 10-6 lead, before giving Houston a walk-in TD to make the score 12-10 in Houston's favor. In the final minutes of the 4th quarter, Cincinnati marched down the field and converted 4th downs to set up a potential game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation. Bengals kicker Randy Bullock needed the ball to be spotted inside the 37-yard line, and the Bengals offense was able to get it all the way to the 25-yard line. Bullock had not missed any field goal attempts as a Bengal, and looked confident as he lined up well within his range. However, he pulled the kick wide-right, and the Titans were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Nothing could have went worse for Tennessee. From a terrifying injury that has the future of their young QB in question, to losing in all three of the games that had impacts on their playoff scenarios and ultimately being eliminated from the playoffs all together.