The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) are back in the building this week as they get set to face the Indianapolis Colts (5-4) in an away game that could very well decide the fate of their season.
Last week, in their Week 9 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3), the team’s potential for playoff glory was nearly depleted, however thanks to an unlikely upset by the Miami Dolphins (2-7) over the Colts this week, the team’s chances of making the playoffs has risen ever so slightly.
Currently, the Jaguars are in fourth-place in the AFC South by virtue of playing one less game than the Tennessee Titans (5-5) — a team that upset the Kansas City Chiefs this week thanks to a blocked field goal with only seconds remaining in the game. The margin of error for the Jaguars is extremely slim moving forward, and the team will need to essentially win out or win five-six of their remaining seven games to remain in the hunt.
If Jacksonville were to beat the Colts next week as a three-point underdog, the Jaguars would rise to a tie for second place in the AFC South at 5-5, however still 2.5 games behind the Texans depending on their outcome on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens (7-2).
The divisional race for the Jaguars appears out of reach, however until the team is mathematically eliminated there is no reason to not discuss the potential, especially considering the team’s opponents over the next two weeks (Colts, Titans).
The Jaguars will be led by a new quarterback for the remainder of the season — barring injury — in Nick Foles, who Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone believes is the best quarterback for the team to win right now. Considering their actions over the past couple of weeks, the team absolutely believes the playoffs is not off the table.
Key players are returning this week, and an expansion of the offense is certainly on the table. The playbook was made for Foles to begin the season, and now with their chosen signal-caller back in the starting lineup, the team will look to make a run starting against the 10th-ranked defense (327.6 yards-per-game allowed) on Sunday.
The Colts were without their starting quarterback — Jacoby Brissett — yesterday after being ruled out on the Saturday before their matchup against the Dolphins.
In his post-game press conference, Colts head coach Frank Reich said Brissett seemed to be trending in the right direction prior to Friday. However, Reich indicated Brissett seemed to be at “about 80%” on Friday and was held out. With another week of recovery, the Jaguars very likely will face Brissett this coming Sunday.
The chances of the Jaguars winning the division or making the playoffs in general are slim, however the team is currently taking a one-game-at-a-time mentality, and a victory over the Colts this week would be a fantastic step in the right direction.