Jaguars closing in on playoff spot

Team hasn't played in postseason since 2007

(Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars are on the precipice of the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They face a simple task Sunday against Houston: win and they're in.

Let's start with the scenarios to clinch any kind of playoff spot.

A Jaguars win over Houston would make them 10-4, meaning that the worst record they could have is 10-6. Should the Jaguars finish with 10 wins, the only teams that could match them would be Tennessee, which is 8-5, Kansas City, Buffalo, Baltimore and the Chargers, which are all 7-6.

The Jaguars hold the tie-breaker advantage over the Ravens and Chargers thanks to head-to-head victories over them. Let's say that Tennessee finishes with 11 wins, winning the AFC South. The Chargers and Chiefs face one another, so one of those teams will not get to 10 wins (or, in the case of a tie, neither team would). One of those teams would be the AFC West champions. Oakland sits at 6-7 and could win the division, but that would eliminate any other AFC West team from having a better record than the Jaguars in this scenario.

The Bills are 7-6 and could finish with a record of 10-6, but they would lose out to the Jaguars in a tie-breaker as a result of their conference record. The Jaguars would be 9-3 against AFC opposition, while the Bills would be 8-4.

As for the division title chase, if the Jaguars win out, they will clinch the AFC South Division. In fact, if they beat Houston, then Jacksonville's game the following week at San Francisco may not impact the divisional race at all. Assuming the Titans win their next two games, at San Francisco and at home against the Rams, the winner of the Jaguars-Titans game on New Year's Eve would be the division champion because the Titans would have the head-to-head tie-breaker advantage if they win, and if the Jaguars win, Jacksonville would have a better overall record.

About the Author: