Heading into the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Bye Week, head coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t rule out going on a run and snaking into the postseason. It seemed unlikely at the moment but following their 28-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Jags still have a chance albeit slim to make the playoffs in 2022.
It was hard to see the Jaguars still be in contention for the postseason ahead of Week 13 given that they had lost six of their last seven games before their Bye. But it looks like they made the most of their break and came back re-energized and unwilling to throw in the towel yet.
Of course, the Jags would need a bit of help to sneak into the playoffs and they got it when the Tennessee Titans lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. Having said that, the margin for error would be slim to none and the Jags would pretty much need to run the table to have a shot.
At 1-9, the Houston Texans are in the cellar of the AFC South and can be disregarded already. The Indianapolis Colts are 4-6 but already kicked Frank Reich to the curve and might be planning for 2023. That leaves the Titans as the only hurdle the Jags would need to clear to earn a playoff berth.
Tennesse has recovered from a 0-2 start and has won seven of their last nine games. Derrick Henry has shown he still has in the tank but he was limited to 38 yards on 17 carries against the Cincinnati Bengals and has averaged 2.78 yards per carry over the last three weeks. Without him playing at a high level, the Titans have struggled to get things going offensively. Since Week 7, they’ve only scored 20 points or more just once.
Conversely, Tennessee’s defense ranks eighth in points allowed and has only surrendered more than 20 points just twice since Week 4. Then again, Trevor Lawrence has built consistency in the Jaguars’ last three games. In that span, he’s completed 76.85 percent of his passes for 815 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. If he can keep playing at that level, he should be able to go toe-to-toe with the Titans.
Making the playoffs won’t be easy but it’s doable for the Jaguars
Keep in mind that the Jaguars and the Titans are slated to play twice in the remainder of the season and things could get interesting if the former wins in Week 14, the date of their first matchup.
Let’s say the Jaguars beat the Detroit Lions in Week 13 and then the Titans while Tennessee lose their next two. The Jags would be 6-7 and the Titans 7-6. Of course, there’s also a scenario in which the Lions beat Jacksonville and knock them out of playoff contention but the fact that the Jags still remain in the conversation is sort of impressive.
Can the Jaguars really make the playoffs? Maybe not but this writer didn’t think they would be the Ravens and here we are, talking about how they have managed to remain in the playoff picture.