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Texans are clear favorites, but AFC South remains a three-team race

The 49ers sit at 9-1, but with the Packers, Ravens, and Saints on tap in the next three weeks, we'll find out how good San Francisco really is.

The Texans are now the clear favorites to win the AFC South after Thursday night’s win over the Colts. But both teams remain in the division race, and the Titans are still in the mix as well.

In fact, the 5-5 Titans still control their AFC South destiny: They still play the 7-4 Texans twice and the 6-5 Colts once, so if the Titans win out they’ll be 11-5, and the Texans and Colts could be no better than 10-6.

For now, Houston is a game ahead of Indianapolis and 1.5 games against Tennessee. But the Texans’ next game is against the Patriots, so that’s one they’ll be underdogs in. After that they have two games with the Titans and games with the Broncos and Buccaneers.

The Colts play the Titans, Buccaneers, Saints, Panthers and Jaguars the rest of the way. Even if Indianapolis wins out, they need Houston to lose at least one.

Everything is still ahead of the Titans, who play the Texans twice and the Colts once in December, and also have games remaining against the Jaguars, Raiders and Saints. That’s not an easy schedule to go 6-0 against, but if the Titans did it, they’d win the AFC South.

Realistically, the Jaguars are out of it: They’re 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the division, so they have almost no path to first place.

The team with the clearest path to the division title is always the team that just has to win to get in. That currently describes both the Texans and the Titans.