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NFL races go down to the wire in AFC South and NFC East

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry , left, runs past Detroit Lions outside linebacker Jamie Collins during the second half of an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn. Henry led the NFL with 1,540 yards rushing last season before running the Titans to their first AFC championship game in 17 years. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

As the calendar turns to 2021, the NFL is experiencing pretty much what it covets. Try two division races, and five wild-card berths out of six still undecided.

Not to go unnoticed, naturally, is that the league is about to finish an entire schedule on time, with a few postponements but not nearly the disruptions plaguing the other major sports organizations in 2020.

The focus in Week 17 will range from coast to coast. Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, Tennessee and Indianapolis are chasing postseason qualification in the AFC, while the Cardinals, Rams, Bears, Giants, Cowboys and Washington seek NFC spots.

AFC SOUTH

Both contenders for this division face NFL tailenders. The Titans have everything in their control, while the Colts need assistance.

Tennessee (10-5) at Houston (4-11)

“It doesn’t get any more clear than it is for us right now,” Titans quarterback Ryan Tanneill says. “We win this game, find a way to win, win the division. That’s one of the things we set out to do this year. It’s pretty clear what we need to do. We just have to go out and make it happen.”

To do so, and take the AFC South for the first time since 2008, they'll certainly rely on Derrick Henry. He's assured of repeating as NFL rushing champ, the first since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07. Henry has a career-high 1,777 yards rushing and ran for 212 yards in his most recent game against the Texans. He had 211 yards rushing last year in Houston, so reaching the elusive 2,000-yard level is possible