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First round bye still in reach for Jaguars

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With the New England Patriots 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins last night, the Jaguars chances at attaining a first-round bye in the playoffs became slightly more realistic.

Standing at 10-3 now, the Patriots have a gigantic match up vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, which could define home field advantage in the AFC.

As far as the Jaguars go, a Patriots loss, and a Jaguars win this next Sunday would catapult the Jaguars into the number 2 seed in the AFC. The first tiebreaker in seeding comes from record in conference, and with that scenario playing out, the Jaguars record in the AFC would go to 9-2, while the Patriots record would fall to 7-3. In this scenario, if the Jaguars won out after that, they would get a first-round bye.

A first-round bye is a huge deal, as it increases a team’s chances to make the Super Bowl by over 35 percent. Simply losing the chance of being eliminated in the Wild Card round goes a long way. Also, imagine hosting the Patriots in the Jaguars first home playoff game in nearly two decades? The hype around the game would be unreal.

As crazy as this sounds, everything from here on out needs to be focused on the Jaguars chances to make a deep run into the playoffs. Both the Steelers, and the Patriots have shown vulnerability lately. The Jaguars are talented enough that they could give either team a run for their money. The Jaguars will most likely have to go through both teams if they have any shot at going to the Super Bowl. a match-up with the Patriots would be difficult as anything, but not having to travel to Foxborough would help their chances.

Basically, we should all find ourselves rooting for the Steelers this Sunday. This season has already been weird, so let’s make it even weirder, and finish with a higher seed than the Patriots.