After the Titans' Week 16 defeat to the Rams, the Jacksonville Jaguars clinched their first AFC South title in 2017. With a win over the Texans the previous week, the Jaguars had clinched their first postseason appearance since 2007. This marks the first time that the Jaguars have won the AFC South.
The Titans were National Champions in 1998 and 1999 and made the NFL playoffs nine times but never won more than seven games during that period. They've failed to make the playoffs each year since 2004 when they went 9-7 and missed out on a chance for a wild card spot due to a loss by Oakland at Kansas City. The Titans finished second in their division three years in a row from 2000-2002 before falling back to fourth place in 2003 and '04. Tennessee has not won more than eight games in a season since 2001 when they went 10-6.
Houston has won at least ten games five times but never more than twelve. The Texans are 7-9-1 in 2016 and '17 after going 12-4 in 2015. Owner Bob McNair says he wants his team to be considered one of the best in football and to play in the Super Bowl within five years but that's not likely with Tom Brady still playing at an extremely high level at age 40.
In 1995, the Titans hired Donnie Jones as their head coach.
Jacksonville, along with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans, is one of four clubs who have never participated in a Super Bowl. The Jaguars have appeared in the AFC Championship Game three times: in 1996, 1999, and 2017.
The 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars season was the team's inaugural season in the National Football League, as well as the first under head coach Tom Coughlin. The Jaguars were 4-12 in their inaugural season and failed not make the playoffs. They finished the season on a high note, though, defeating the Cleveland Browns 24-21 on December 24, that year. 1.
The Jaguars made a name for themselves in 2017 thanks to a youthful, star-studded defense that carried the team to a 10-win season and a division title. Jacksonville won its first two playoff games and led the AFC championship game by ten points in the fourth quarter before being denied its first Super Bowl berth by a Patriots comeback. The Jags' success can be attributed to their ability to find young talent and develop it; they had five players age 25 or younger on their roster at some point during the year.
General manager Dave Caldwell has built a strong foundation of young talent through the draft; eight of the nine starting positions on defense were filled by rookies or second-year players. First-round picks Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack developed into stars at cornerback and linebacker, respectively. Third-rounder Yannick Ngakoue emerged as a force off the edge. Fourth-rounder AJ Bouye earned a contract extension before even playing a down in 2018. Fifth-rounder DeAndre Coleman started several games at safety after Tashaun Gipson left for Baltimore. Sixth-rounder Josh Oliver played well as a rookie free agent receiver out of slot defender. Seventh-rounder CJ Henderson will likely start at one of the outside linebacker spots this fall after Nick BeDosky was released earlier this month.
Jacksonville also got great production from its offense early in the year before losing quarterback Blake Bortles for most of April.
Jaguars of Jacksonville
|Year||Record||Finish (Regular / Post Season)|
|2017||10-6-0||1st — AFC South|
|2016||3-13-0||4th — AFC South|
|2015||5-11-0||3rd — AFC South|
|2014||3-13-0||3rd — AFC South|
The Pittsburgh Steelers were beaten 31-29 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was their first playoff victory in eight years and their first road playoff victory in 10 years. The Steelers lost to the same club at home twice in a season for the first time in franchise history. They also lost all four games played at Buffalo during the regular season. The Jacksonville team that visited Pittsburgh was one of the best in the league, finishing with a 9-7 record. Quarterback Mark Brunell led the charge, throwing for 3,410 yards while rushing for 614 more.
The only other team that made the postseason from each conference is the Indianapolis Colts from the NFL. The Colts finished with an 11-5 record and reached the playoffs as a wild card entry. They will face the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Round.
In the AFC South, both Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans made the playoffs as division champions. The Titans won the division with a 7-9 record while the Texans came in with a 9-7 record to reach the postseason.
In the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles made the playoffs as the number six seed. The Eagles defeated the New York Giants 23-20 in the Wild Card round before being eliminated by the Chicago Bears 24-14 in the Divisional Round. The Washington Redskins finished with an 8-8 record but failed to make the playoffs due to holding the tiebreaker over the Eagles.