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

The Jaguars face the Jets in the Meadowlands on Thursday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

General view as the New York Jets offense lines up against the Buffalo Bills defense on the 1 yard line during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Results update: The Jaguars beat the Jets easily, 19-3 on Thursday night. This puts the two teams both at 7-8, but the Jaguars move ahead in the AFC playoff standings and could move up to the eighth spot if the Bengals can beat the Patriots this weekend. They have a shot to get a Wild Card spot that way, but they may have an even better spot to win the AFC South, as they are one game back from the Titans and the Titans are currently without their starting quarterback. There is a real chance that the Titans-Jaguars matchup in Week 18 will be for the AFC Sotu crown and a playoff spot.


The New York Jets host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football to open Week 15, and it’s a surprisingly huge matchup. Neither team is on the right side of the playoff picture, but both are firmly in the mix and badly need a win in this game. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET and the Jets are a one-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jaguars playoff picture

Jacksonville has won three of its last four games, with all three wins happening against teams currently holding a playoff spot. They’re coming off a huge comeback effort to beat the Cowboys in overtime and are now 6-8. They are in second place in the AFC South, a game back of the 7-7 Titans. They are one game back of the Jets and Patriots in the AFC standings, and two games back of the Chargers and Dolphins for the final two wild card spots.

If the Jaguars win, they would move ahead of the Jets, and could climb into eighth place ahead of the Patriots if New England loses to Cincinnati. And of course they could move into a tie with the Titans if Tennessee loses to Houston. If the Jaguars lose, they would be on the verge of wild card elimination, and could drop to two back of Tennessee with two to play.

Jets playoff picture

New York is struggling, having lost four of five and slipped into last place in the AFC East with a 7-7 record. They’re a game back of LA and Miami in the wild card race, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Patriots and thus potentially need to leapfrog them.

If the Jets win, they would remain no worse than ninth, and could improve to one of the two playoff spots if both the Chargers and Dolphins lose. If the Jets lose, they would slip into tenth and could drop as far as 12th.

Tiebreaker implications

The head-to-head tiebreaker is huge here for the wild card standings. The conference record and common games tiebreakers are relevant as well.