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AP not ready to forget about the Titans

The Associated Press

Remember the Titans? You’d better do so quickly.

The Tennessee Titans suddenly look like world beaters. Or, at least, a solid choice to win the AFC South.

They have won four straight and six of seven to climb into a tie for the division lead with the Texans. Houston comes off a monumental crash after its superb victory against New England.

Since switching from Marcus Mariota — where will he be quarterbacking next year — to Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee has averaged 31.4 points a game, second most in the NFL in that span. The Titans also have 27 touchdowns over the past seven games after getting 11 through the first six games.

“It’s been good to be able to put ourselves in a position now to focus and concentrate on the Houston Texans,” coach Mike Vrabel said.

Houston seemed primed to take the division before that debacle against Denver. Now it faces its top threat in the AFC South twice in the final three weeks.

“We’re all in this together, but it all starts with me,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said. “Look, we’re an 8-5 football team coming off a (big win) and we got beat soundly by the Broncos, and we’ve got to come in here and go back to work. We’ve got important games left. There’s a lot of football left to be played.”

Tennessee, No. 12 in the AP Pro32, is playing better than No. 11 Houston, which is a 3-point underdog. Titans, 22-16

Elsewhere:

No. 10 Los Angeles Rams (+2) at No. 15 Dallas: Buying Rams big time. Selling America’s team, big time. BEST BET and UPSET SPECIAL: Rams, 26-21

No. 16 Philadelphia (-51⁄2) at No. 29 (tie) Washington: Eagles don’t deserve it, but will take NFC East lead. Eagles, 17-13

No. 9 Buffalo (+11⁄2) at No. 13 Pittsburgh: Don’t have enough guts to make this the Upset Special. Bills, 16-15

No. 18 Indianapolis (+9) at No. 3 New Orleans (Monday night): Colts too banged up to hang in with ticked-off Saints. Saints, 30-16

No. 24 New York Jets (+141⁄2) at No. 1 Baltimore (tonight): When will NFL learn not to put Jets in prime time? Still, spread is too high. Ravens, 26-14

No. 14 Chicago (+41⁄2) at No. 6 Green Bay: Bears are coming on. Trip to Lambeau stops that progress Packers, 20-15

No. 8 New England (-91⁄2) at No. 32 Cincinnati: We were wrong about Patriots last week. Not here. Patriots, 26-8

No. 4 (tie) Seattle (-6) at No. 23 Carolina: Seahawks had their stinker last week, Panthers are majoring in them. Seahawks, 27-16

No. 21 Denver (+11) at No. 4 (tie) Kansas City: Chiefs have outside shot at No. 2 playoff seed and bye. Chiefs, 32-23

No. 27 Miami (+3) at No. 31 New York Giants: Dolphins should have won at Meadowlands last week, will win this Sunday. Dolphins, 23-17

No. 25 Atlanta (+11) at No. 2 San Francisco: Niners feeling like champs after that win in the Big Easy. 49ers, 33-20

No. 8 Minnesota (-3) at No. 22 Los Angeles Chargers: Vikings on verge of playoffs, won’t flop in this one. Vikings, 28-20

No. 17 Tampa Bay (-31⁄2 ) at No. 29 (tie) Detroit: Bucs have major decision ahead on Jameis Winston, who helps his case here. Bucs, 35-25

No. 28 Jacksonville (+61⁄2) at No. 20 Oakland: Raiders will depart Black Hole with convincing victory. Raiders, 31-19

No. 19 Cleveland (-21⁄2) at No. 26 Arizona: Can’t trust Cleveland, which could stumble here. Browns, 21-20

2019 RECORD: Last week: 7-7-2 against spread, 7-9 straight up. Season totals: 110-93-4 against spread, 123-82-1 straight up. Best bet: 11-3 against spread, 12-2 straight up. Upset special: 7-7 against spread, 7-7 straight up.

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