If the Jaguars win out, they’re AFC South champs. Same for the Colts.
Beyond that it remains pretty complicated in the AFC South, with a gigantic Jaguars-at-Colts game looming on Dec. 19.
You can use this Playoff Machine to sort through every conceivable scenario.
But here’s a thorough look at the first-place Jaguars and what can happen to them from 7-5. (See the tie-breaking procedures at the bottom.)
If the Jaguars win out, they win the division at 11-5.
If they finish 3-1 with the loss to the Colts and the Colts win out and both teams wind up 10-6…
The Jags will have split their head-to-head meetings with the Colts, making the first tiebreaker a wash.
They’d both be 4-2 in the division, which is the second tiebreaker.
They’d be 7-5 in games against common opponents with the Colts. Indianapolis would be 8-4 in those games. So the Colts would win the division based on that tiebreaker.
I’ve heard it floated around that the Jaguars can ensure they win the division if the Colts lose at Tennessee on Thursday, the Jags beat Oakland Sunday and the Jags win at Indianapolis.
That scenario would ensure the Jaguars will finish with a better record than Indianapolis. But that doesn’t take into account the Texans.
Say the Jaguars win their next two with the Colts losing their next two.
Then the Jaguars lose their final three to finish 9-7 while Texans win out to finish 9-7.
The two teams would have split head-to-head.
They’d both be 4-2 in the division.
Houston would win the third tiebreaker with a 7-5 record against common opponents as compared to Jacksonville’s 6-6.
TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISION
If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
5. Strength of victory.
6. Strength of schedule.
7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
9. Best net points in common games.
10. Best net points in all games.
11. Best net touchdowns in all games.