2. The Texans and Colts are right on the Jaguars heels with 3 games to go
At the midpoint of the season, you would've gotten a blank stare if you had suggested that the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts had a chance to surpass the Jaguars in the division. After all, the Texans had shown progress but they hadn't fully turned things around. Similarly, Indy had lost Anthony Richardson for the season and were just 3-5. But you should always come to expect the unexpected in the NFL, and both Houston and the Colts find themselves in a three-way tie with the Jags ahead of Week 16.
Jacksonville is still No. 1 in the division due to tiebreakers but they no longer have a cushion after losing to the Ravens. On top of that, they've lost three straight games while Indianapolis has won five of their last six. Similarly, the Texans have racked up five victories the past seven weeks. They're faring much better than the Jaguars and they're far from the only threats to their playoff chances, either as a division champ or a wild card.
The Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos, and the Buffalo Bills are all vying for a playoff seed, and all of them have a reasonable chance to make the cut. The New York Times simulator gives Jacksonville a 74 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason but Houston and Indianapolis also hold encouraging odds, 64 percent and 72 percent, respectively.
This isn't to say that the Jaguars won't ultimately make the playoffs but rather that they're no longer the lock they seemed to be at the midpoint of the season.