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NFL playoff picture: What does Jaguars-Titans mean for AFC standings

The Jaguars face the Titans in Nashville on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of the Tennessee Titans flags during the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Results update: The Jaguars thumped the Titans and has tightened up the AFC South. Jacksonville is now 5-8 and moved into second place ahead of the Colts. They’re two games back of the Titans who remain fourth overall in the conference. Jacksonville is in tenth place overall in the conference.

The Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 and the 1 p.m. ET game will offer Tennessee a chance to move a little closer to a playoff berth. The Titans are 7-5 and have lost two straight while the Jaguars are 4-8 and have alternated wins and losses the past five weeks after losing five straight.

Titans playoff picture

Tennessee is three games up on the 4-8-1 Colts in the AFC South and in relative control of the division in spite of their losing streak. They are in fourth place in the overall AFC standings, a game back of the Ravens.

The Titans can’t clinch anything with a win, but with the Colts on bye, they’d move 3.5 games up and also eliminate the Jaguars from AFC South contention. They could move into third place with a win and Ravens loss, but would remain in fourth with a loss.

Jaguars playoff picture

Jacksonville is three games back of seventh-place New York in the wild card race. They are unlikely to climb all the way back into playoff contention, but a win could give them a little bit of life. They would not be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss, but it would effectively end their faint chances at a playoff berth.

Tiebreaker implications

The most significant tiebreaker in play is conference record. If the Titans finish tied in the overall standings with Baltimore or Miami, that is the tiebreaker that would break them up since they did not play each other this season. Tennessee lost to Buffalo, Kansas City, and Cincinnati, and thus loses the head-to-head tiebreaker.