The Jaguars must win in London on Sunday
The Jaguars are traveling to London looking to get a very important win against the Houston Texans. This is a make-or-break week for Jacksonville.
This week the Jaguars are taking on the Houston Texans in what is a must-win game. Technically it is a home game for Jacksonville, but the game will be played overseas in London at Wembley Stadium.
Jacksonville has had some good games in the past when playing in London and is hoping to continue that winning tradition this week. The Jaguars are currently 3-3 across the pond.
Both the Jaguars and the Texans are in the midst of a very tight battle for a playoff berth in the AFC South. As of right now, the Indianapolis Colts are first in the division at 5-2 but none of the four teams have a record below .500.
This week could mark a huge swing if Jacksonville wins. They would be tied with the Texans at 5-4 and it would improve their chances of moving toward the division lead. Why is this specific game more important than any others the Jaguars have played this season? Here are a few thoughts.
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It splits the season series with the Texans – A win this week means that the Jaguars will split their two games with their rival, the Texans. While the Jaguars will not be playing in a true home game as this week as the game will be in London, but Jacksonville has had pretty good success when playing overseas.
Jacksonville has the advantage because they are better acclimated to the differences like the time change and the atmosphere. They have also played on the field in London which is different from the one played in the states.
Splitting with the Texans means they do not hold the advantage in an instance of a tie for the division lead. Houston and Jacksonville are both fighting in a very crowded playoff race. As of right now, Houston holds the advantage in head to head wins and in overall wins but with a victory this week. Jacksonville evens their record in both categories.
It adds to Jacksonville’s oversea popularity – There is a reason that Jacksonville is always the home team when playing in London. Team owner Shad Khan made an agreement with the NFL to play one home game a year in London as part of the International Series.
This year they are going to look to improve their overseas record after losing to the Eagles last season, 24-18. Playing overseas increases Jacksonville’s worldwide popularity, which means more team revenue. The Jaguars need that revenue to help keep the franchise running in Jacksonville.
Playoffs are still the No. 1 goal – Because this is a division game, it affects the other teams fiding for playoff seeding.
The Indianapolis Colts are taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers who are never an easy win. Jacksonville is also coming off of two straight victories and have momentum on their side. The Jaguars were not the flashiest team when looking at the roster at the beginning of the season, but the coaching staff has done an excellent job maximizing their talent and the players have improved since last season.
This year has been a fun year to be a Jaguars fan, despite all of the drama that has surrounded this team. From the resurrection of Leonard Fournette, the rise of DJ Chark, and Gardner Minshew, leading to the Minshew Mania, this team has been more improved on both sides of the football.
A win this week increases their chances of making the playoffs and once the playoffs start anything could happen. Jacksonville is one of those teams that when things correctly, they play off that momentum. That is why this week is a must-win for the “home” team.