NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Cortland Finnegan said the playoff scenarios and what-ifs can wait.
Finnegan and the Titans know they must beat the Texans in Houston Sunday in the regular-season finale to keep alive their hopes of grabbing the last remaining berth in the AFC playoffs.
"We've got to take care of business. Point blank. Period," Finnegan said.
Professionals are always expected to focus on the game in which they're playing, but they are prone to do a little scoreboard watching as well. The schedule, however, will help the Titans (8-7) from doing that too much against the Texans (10-5) in their noon game.
The result of the noon game between the New York Jets (8-7) and Miami (5-10) will influence what Tennessee needs to happen in the afternoon games but will not rule Tennessee out of the playoffs.
If the Titans win and avenge a 41-7 loss to the Texans more than two months ago, they will need Baltimore (11-4) to win at Cincinnati (9-6) in the afternoon game and some additional help.
If Tennessee wins and Cincinnati loses, the Titans will reach the postseason if: 1) the Jets win at Miami and Oakland (8-7) loses to or ties San Diego (7-8); 2) the Jets win and Denver (8-7) loses to or ties Kansas City (6-9); 3) the Jets lose and Oakland and Denver win.
The Cincinnati-Baltimore, Oakland-San Diego and Denver-Kansas City games all kickoff after the Titans' game.
Head coach Mike Munchak told players earlier this week, "once we do win, our playoff chances are alive until the second level of games is played" so they will focus on Houston.
"It's good that we don't have to watch the scoreboard or get guys caught up in seeing what other teams are doing at the same time because there is nobody playing that could affect us," Munchak said. "The Jets are the only other game going on and no matter what they do it won't affect our game as far as knocking us out, it just changes the circumstances depending on what they do. Our goal is to be in that situation."
Running back Chris Johnson, who is 14 rushing yards away from his fourth straight 1,000-yard season, said focus won't be a problem on Sunday.
"We're going to be focused on our game because at the end of the day if all the other teams, all the other scenarios happen and we lose the game, then we're going to be out of the playoffs anyways," Johnson said.
If the Titans prevail, players are likely to turn on the afternoon games in the locker room of Reliant Stadium as they clear out, and then find the games with Internet or satellite television service on the team's charter flight.
"It's going to be strange. I'm hoping we're in that situation," Munchak said. "Like we said, we've got to win, but it will make for an interesting flight home. I've never been through that before where by the time you land you could know if you're in or out of the playoffs, but it will be a different way to find out, I guess."
Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon said his preference is to wait until all the results are in, but it may be tough to tone out teammates' reactions on the flight.
"To me personally I like to see the whole scenario play out and then find out the information," Witherspoon said. "I don't want to be anticipating and watching every little detail because that just makes you anxious."
If the Titans do make the playoffs, they would be in line for a return trip to Houston, which has already secured the No. 3 seed, regardless of what happens Sunday.
CJ PRACTICES, JJ DOUBTFUL: Munchak said Johnson (ankle) practiced fully Friday and will officially be listed as questionable as he was last week against Jacksonville. Defensive lineman Jason Jones' ankle, however, has not progressed as far as the team hoped and will be listed as doubtful for Sunday.
Munchak said Daniel Graham (illness), Gerald McRath (ankle and knee), Lavelle Hawkins (ankle) and Shaun Smith (knee) practiced fully Friday and will be listed as questionable.
WIND PUSHES PRACTICE INDOOR: Temperatures were about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, providing unseasonable warmth for the end of December Friday, but winds were gusty. With Sunday's game at an indoor stadium, the Titans opted to move Friday's practice inside so it wouldn't be a factor on passing plays.
"The wind was just a little strong," Munchak said. "Since we're not going to have wind in this game, we're assuming if there is a wind, they'll close the top, so it should be great conditions for the game. It was too windy. We thought there's no sense in having the ball affected by it in the throwing and the timing, and the energy level is always a little better when you come inside."