Jaguars have favorable path to No. 1 seed: Predicting final 6 games of 2023 season

• The Jaguars are gaining steam entering the last stretch of the 2023 season

• Here's a look at how the next six games on their schedule could play out

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Week 14 @ Cleveland Browns: Win

This matchup looked pretty appealing a month ago before Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. At the time, the former Pro Bowler was beginning to hit his stride. Moreover, their defense was playing at a historic pace, giving up the third-fewest total yards in the NFL since 1970.

With Watson out for the year, the Browns have rolled with rookie Dorian Thompson-Rorbinson behind center. The former UCLA Bruin has done enough to help Cleveland go 1-1 the past two weeks, going 38-of-72 for 299 yards with one touchdown and one interception. However, they've signed Joe Flacco (yes, that Joe Flacco) as insurance, in case Thompson-Robinson either goes down or plays poorly.

Now, expecting Flacco to lead the Browns to the Super Bowl would be unrealistic. It's been a while since he was a starting-caliber passer and the only way the Jaguars should worry about him is if they traveled back in time to the 2022 playoffs to face peak Flacco. Now, he's nothing more than a veteran whose best days are behind him.

Having said that, Jacksonville must approach this game like the Bengals one. They cannot underestimate an opponent because they're going against a 'lesser team.' In fact, the Browns could be hard to take down. They haven't let injuries to Deshaun Watson, running back Nick Chubb, offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr., and safety Rodney McLeod derail their season yet.

Expect them to exchange blows with the Jaguars, and give them their all. But despite their drive, this writers sees them falling to Jacksonville.