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How can Jaguars clinch a playoff spot in Week 18?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Jaguars clinching a playoff spot in Week 18.

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on prior to a game against the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 of the NFL season. The Jaguars are searching for a playoff berth and are in an interesting spot. Jacksonville can find itself with home-field advantage as a division winner, or they can be eliminated from playoff contention entirely depending on the results of certain games. Let’s look at how the Jaguars can find their way into the postseason.

Jaguars playoff clinching scenarios - Week 18

  • JAX win OR
  • JAX tie + IND tie OR
  • PIT loss + DEN loss/tie + HOU loss OR
  • PIT loss + DEN loss/tie + IND loss

Sunday Update: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, so both of the bottom two scenarios are out. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, they lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

The good news for Jacksonville is that it controls its own destiny. If they can beat the Tennessee Titans, they will be the AFC South champion and the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs. This would guarantee them a home-field advantage against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round. The Titans are eliminated from playoff contention, and a win would actually hurt their draft pick, but they may still look to pull off an upset over a division rival. The Jaguars are five-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

We haven’t had a tie this season, and the NFL has had at least one every year since 2017. A tie in Week 18 could have a big impact on who makes the playoffs, depending on the game it occurs in. If the Jaguars were to tie the Titans and the Houston Texans tied the Indianapolis Colts, the Jags would make the playoffs.

If Jacksonville doesn’t win against Tennessee, they will be at the mercy of certain results from other teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers would need to lose to the Baltimore Ravens, who are going to be resting their starters to get extra rest for the playoffs. The Jags would also need the Denver Broncos to lose or tie the Las Vegas Raiders and the Texans/Colts game to not end in a tie.