The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Houston Texans in our first real “Toilet Bowl” game of the 2021 NFL season. Both teams have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but more importantly, they are both in the thick of the race for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Texans beat the Jaguars to open the season in a game that surprised folks. The Jaguars weren’t expected to be great, but most everybody believed the Texans would be the worst team in the league. Instead, Detroit has carried that mantle with Houston and Jacksonville not too far behind.
The Lions head into Week 15 with a 1-11-1 record that slots them into the No. 1 pick. The Jaguars and Texans are tied at 2-11, a game up on the 3-10 Jets. The tiebreaker for draft order is strength of schedule, and then a coin flip if SOS is equal. Head-to-head and other tiebreakers used for divisional standings and the playoffs do not apply.
While head-to-head isn’t used to break ties, the loser of the Jaguars-Texans could effectively lock up no worse than the No. 2 pick. The Texans final three games are vs. the Chargers, at the 49ers, and vs. the Titans. The Jaguars final three games are at the Jets, at the Patriots, and home against the Colts. That Jets game is winnable, but otherwise it would take some Week 18 benchings by teams in the playoffs to provide any other wins on the closing calendar.
The Jaguars are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.