The Jaguars, thanks to their bye week, couldn't do anything on the field in week nine to help or hurt their playoff chances.
But a big win for the Texans made the gap between the Jaguars and the AFC South division leaders a bit bigger. The Texans are surging, kind of. They've won six straight games, but haven't exactly done so in impressive fashion. But in the NFL style points don't matter. After a win on the road in Denver the Texans hold a bid lead in the division. They beat the Broncos 19-17 at Mile High Stadium on Sunday.
The Texans are a team that has been winning ugly, but they've still been winning. And with the addition of veteran receiver Damaryius Thomas, their offense has potential for growth down the stretch. He won't replace the deep threat that Will Fuller (out for the season with an ACL tear) brought to the field, but he's still a reliable playmaker in his own right.
Tennessee also got a leg up on the Jaguars with an impressive victory Monday night over the Cowboys in Dallas. They scored 28 points after a slow start and Marcus Mariota looked special, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for another. At 4-4 they now have a one game lead over the Jaguars. The Titans play host to Patriots next week.
The Jaguars, losers of four of the last five games, will get Leonard Fournette back after the bye week. But they face a huge uphill battle in terms of getting back in the playoff picture. Their first opportunity after the bye week will come against the Colts in Indianapolis next Sunday. Both teams sit at 3-5 after eight contests. If the Jaguars don't pick up a win in Indy, they can kiss this season goodbye. They won't have been mathematically eliminated with a loss, but falling to 3-6 with games against the Steelers, Titans, Texans and Redskins looming, would all but seal the Big Cats fate.
The Texans have a week 10 bye, so the Jaguars won't lose ground via another Texans win, at least not next week.
If the Jaguars are able to get back on track, and once again become a factor in the AFC South race, their 2018 fate could be decided in the final week of the season, when they take on the Texans in Houston.
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