Jaguars add extra life to playoff hopes in win vs. Titans in Week 14

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) at Nissan Stadium. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) at Nissan Stadium. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Winning five games in a season is not a big deal for teams that routinely make the playoffs like the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it’s an important milestone for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had a combined three wins in the last two years. With four games left in the 2022 season, not only do the Jags have a chance to rack up a few more wins but they also have a slim shot at qualifying for the postseason.

You won’t often hear the words playoffs and Jaguars in the same sentence but after beating the Tennessee Titans in Week 14, the Jags have managed to stay in the thick of the playoff race. They’re still a long shot but it was hard to envision them being in contention early in the season when they were riding a five-game losing streak.

But the Jaguars have managed to go 3-2 since Week 9 and with the faltering Titans losing three straight, Jacksonville could qualify if they’re able to win out. It won’t be easy though. Next on their schedule are the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans, the New York Jets, and the Titans again.

At 10-3, the Cowboys are one of the top leagues in the league. Both their offense and their defense rank third in the league and are a 4.5-point favorite to win in Week 14. The New York Jets are trending up with Mike White at the helm while the Texans already beat Jacksonville once.

Conversely, the Jaguars already beat the Baltimore Ravens and were able to keep up with the Chiefs, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them beat Dallas. In fact, they would show they are a worthy playoff candidate.

The Jaguars remain relevant with four games left in the 2022 season

The Jaguars were highly inconsistent in the first half of the 2022 season and even after beating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9, it seemed like they were out of playoff contention when they lost to the Chiefs. But they didn’t wave the white flag and instead fought back. They’re currently climbing out of the hole they themselves dug and are seen as a potential dark horse.

But even with a chance to earn a postseason berth, head coach Doug Pederson doesn’t want the Jaguars to lose perspective. He told the media Monday that he wants the team to know where they currently stand but also focus on the task at hand, which is beating the Cowboys.

“I do want to show the team where we are and what’s in front of us”, Pederson said. “But I want us to focus on this week. I want us to get better this week. This is a great football team, a well-coached football team that’s playing really well in that division and playing well in the NFL, so our work would be out for us in practice this week. So I don’t want to move too far, too forward, forward”.

Defeating Dallas and winning out won’t be an easy task. But the fact that the Jaguars are still in the hunt when most analysts had already counted them out shows how far they’ve come under Doug Pederson.

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