3 reasons Jaguars can hold the fort if Trevor Lawrence misses time, 2 they won't

• C.J. Beathard could start a few games for the Jaguars

• Here are a few reasons they'll be fine, and 2 why they won't

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) with
Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) with / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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1. The Jaguars may need to play catchup with the Texans and Colts in the AFC South race

Last year, the Jaguars got hot and went on to win seven of their last eight games to finish 9-7, seize the division, and make the playoffs. They could have trouble pulling off the feat for the second straight year if they lose their next two games. By then, they would be 8-6 (an improvement from last year) but the Houston Texans and the Colts are lurking behind them and could eventually catch up. Both teams are 7-5 and they could gain significant ground if they win Sunday.

The Jaguars own tiebreakers over the Colts, having swept them this season. Houston, on the other hand, split the series, so they could win the division even if they and the Jaguars have identical records by the end of the season. Heading into Week 14, Jacksonville holds a one-game lead, but they could lose it and even trail either Indianapolis or the Texans if their division foes win the next two weeks.

Had the Jags beat the Bengals, they would've had a bigger cushion entering Week 14. They didn't and now run the risk of being displaced from first place in the division. While they could still make the playoffs as a wild card, there are currently seven teams in the hunt, including both the Texans and Indianapolis, vying for a spot.

One will make the postseason as the AFC South champion, but that still leaves six clubs in contention for a wild-card seed. The others are the Browns, Pittsburgh, the Buffalo Bills, and the Denver Broncos. The Jaguars are arguably better than all of them. But without Trevor Lawrence, they could be left out of the playoffs altogether.

The bottom line is that Trevor Lawrence missing a few weeks doesn't spell doom for the Jaguars. However, C.J. Beathard and the rest of the team need to fare well during his potential absence if they want to make the playoffs for the second straight year.

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