Win vs. Texans in Week 12 keeps Jaguars in top 10 of NFL Power Rankings

• The Jaguras won their 5th game on the road this season in Week 12

• They're now 8-3, and setting their sights on the No. 1 playoff seed

• Also, they've moved up a few spots in most Power Rankings

Nov 26, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at the line
Nov 26, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at the line / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars began their second streak of the 2023 season when they beat the Houston Texans in Week 12. While C.J. Stroud and the Texans took things to the wire, Jacksonville ultimately came on top, beating their division foe 24-21. The win was enough to help the Jags move up a few spots in most NFL Power Rankings.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports ranked the Jaguars at No. 7, pointing out that they have a firm grasp of the divison following the win. He also highlighted Trevor Lawrence's big game, which he describes as a "good sign moving forward."

Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk placed them at No. 6, pointing out that the loss to the San Francisco 49ers might've been the wake-up call the Jags needed to put it all together. The Bleacher Report staff, for their part, thinks Week 12 was an important test for the Jags, one they passed with flying colors.

"Week 12 was an important test for the Jacksonville Jaguars—and a chance for payback. For the Jaguars to be considered among the AFC's elite, they need to be able to take out a quality opponent on the road. The Jaguars were also smoked by the Texans earlier this season in Jacksonville."

B/B believes that moving forward, the conversation should now be centered on the Jaguars' chances of clinching home-field advantage and potentially making a deep playoff run.

The Texans most definitely gave their all. C.J. Stroud had yet another outstanding performance, completing 72.2 percent of his passes for 304 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions despite the fact that he was pressured on 57 percent of his dropbacks.

Like C.J. Stroud, the Jaguars' defense kept fighting until the end, registering four sacks. Two of them came in the Texans' last drive. With 0:34 second left, kicker Matt Amendola attempted a 58-yard field goal but came up short. He would've had a better chance of nailing it if Stroud hadn't been sacked two times on the drive for a loss of 24 yards.

Trevor Lawrence, for his part, had one of his best games of the season, going 23-of-28 for 364 yards with one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown, and one interception. Had either Calvin Ridley or Christian Kirk been able to come down with a couple of deep shots, Lawrence's totals would've been even better.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting hot at the right time of the 2023 season

At this point of the season last year, the Jags were 4-7 and still trying to put it all together. They went on to win their last five to make the playoffs and win the division. This time though, they should be focusing on clinching the top seed. As B/R noted, they're in the driver's seat to seize the division and qualify for the postseason. They have the talent to aim higher.

While the Baltimore Ravens are currently in first place in the AFC, the Jags are trailing them by just one game and will face them in Week 14. Jacksonville will next face a couple of manageable opponents in the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, both of whom lost their starting quarterbacks to season-ending injuries.

If they can win the next two and pull off the upset against Baltimore, they could find themselves at the top of the conference. Will it be easy? No, but it's feasible. It would also show what kind of team the Jacksonville Jaguars truly are in 2023.

Last season, the Jaguars got hot after their BYE. Will 2023 be a repeat of last year? The talent is certainly there. It's now up to them to show they belong in the cream of the crop of the NFL.

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