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Jacksonville Jaguars

Who might Jaguars play and will Bucs-Dolphins affect playoff scenarios?

Florida Football Insiders



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The final Sunday of regular season NFL football is upon us and some things we know about the playoffs. Other scenarios are up in the air? And for the Jaguars, Dolphins and Buccaneers, all of their games have playoff relevance for them and/or their opponent.

So here’s some of most pertinent info headed to what should be a wild afternoon and evening with the understanding we’re not going into every tiebreaker possibility, just the likely ones:

The Jaguars have not only clinched the AFC South and a home game next weekend, but they are also locked into the AFC #3 seed, because even if they end tied with Kansas City, they have a better AFC record. So, the Chiefs will be #4 as AFC West champs, and play the #5 Wildcard.

That wildcard is likely the Ravens, because they only have to beat the Bengals at home to be 10-6 and clinch. They also will clinch a playoff spot if either the Titans or Bills lose their game. Seeding in a tie for Baltimore would still be a tiebreaker for Sunday night.

Who will be the likely #6 seed in the AFC? Well, as we have laid out, if Tennessee wins, they are in the playoffs and likely playing the Jags, because they need no other help. And barring a three or four way tiebreaker with the Ravens, Chargers and Bills improving them to #5, the Titans are most likely in, as the sixth seed re-matching the Jaguars next weekend.

As for the Bills, they are in Miami and the Dolphins can eliminate them with a win. Still Buffalo also more help. They would need the Ravens to lose with their win to get in. The Bills also get in with a win and both a Titans and a Chargers (playing Oakland at home) loss. They have a tough situation. They are on the road trying to win and need other losses. The Dolphins would like nothing better than to pay Buffalo back for a Week 15 loss. We’ll see.

Again, if the Jaguars beat Tennessee, they are likely playing the Chargers, but maybe the Bills in Jacksonville next weekend.

Still with us?

As for the Buccaneers, they host the Saints, who are already in the NFC Playoffs, but have not clinched the NFC South, yet. New Orleans does that with a win Sunday and they will host a playoff game next weekend. The Saints will also be scoreboard watching, because if the Panthers lose in Atlanta, it gives New Orleans the division and the wildcard home game.

Now, Tampa Bay can do the Panthers a huge favor by winning over the Saints. Then, a Panthers win in Atlanta not only potentially knocks the Falcons out of the playoffs, but Carolina will win the division, themselves and get the home game next weekend in Charlotte.

Interestingly, the Panthers and the Saints could be playing each other, or if Atlanta wins the game Sunday, they are in the playoffs, and they could be playing the Saints for a third time in five weeks in the NFC Wildcard game next weekend.

There are still NFC seeding tiebreakers to sort out with the Saints, the West champion Rams, or maybe the Panthers if they win the division. Again, it will play out late on Sunday all over the NFL.

There is no question it will be wild and you will next extra screens and maybe, eyeballs, to keep track of it all. And, all three Florida NFL teams are involved in the middle of it.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Steelers add to Jaguars frustrations with late comeback

Florida Football Insiders



Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Any hope that the Jaguars were going to turn their season around on a November Sunday in North Florida ended abruptly, as Ben Roethlisberger fueled a 16-point second-half comeback and the Steelers handed Jacksonville their sixth straight defeat.

The Jaguars controlled most of the first three quarters, but unfortunately had only three Josh Lambo field goals to show for their excellent play in the first half. And, their 9 – 0 lead going into the 3rd quarter came back to haunt them later on.

Outspoken but talented defensive back Jalen Ramsey stepped up big with two interceptions of Roethlisberger, while being matched up head-to-head on Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh. This came on the heels of a Sunday morning ESPN report that the Jaguars would likely try to trade the third year cornerback this off season to rid themselves of his antics off the field.

The Jags denied the report in a statement, and Ramsey looked up to the challenge early

However, Brown did shake loose for a 78-yard bomb in the third quarter with that Pittsburgh back in the game at 16 – 6. It was the beginning of the end for Jacksonville.

And, unfortunately for the Jaguars, an all too familiar theme took shape, again, in the second half. This, as Blake Bortles was once again virtually ineffective throwing for just a 104 yards and was sacked six times on the game.

Then, when Roethlisberger led the Steelers to another touchdown with under six minutes remaining hitting TE Vance McDonald on an 11-yard score, it wast 16-13.

Once more, Jacksonville’s offense could do nothing and gave the ball back to Pittsburgh for one more opportunity for Roethlisberger to play the hero. He hit Juju Smith Schuster-with a long completion inside the Jacksonville 25 yard line, and then, another pass over the middle Bryant put them down inside the 4-yard line with under :20 to play.

Two plays later Roethlisberger scrambled just into the end zone with only :05 remaining in the game and the comeback was complete.

In stunning the Jaguars and their home fans, Pittsburgh won its six consecutive game. Further, they dealt a likely fatal blow to Jacksonville’s hopes to get into the playoff race, as they now stand at 3-7.

Despite Leonard Fournette having a strong day with almost a hundred yards rushing and the lone touchdown on an “Up and Over” dive in the third quarter, the Jags once again showed that their biggest flaw is: that can’t throw the football with any down-filled success and get quick scores with any regularity.

And unlike 2017 when they’re plodding, run-based offense was effective, time and again, it’s been exposed in 2018 for losses.

With the win the Steelers do get a measure of revenge after being swept last year by Jacksonville including a while 45 – 35 playoff loss in the divisional round at Heinz Field.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Report- Jaguars will explore trading DB Jalen Ramsey

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The soap opera involving controversial and outspoken Jags defensive back Jalen Ramsey took another turn Sunday morning. That’s when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jags are going to seriously consider trading Ramsey at the end of this season.

Schefter made the comments on ESPN’s Sunday morning “NFL Countdown” pregame show and also wrote about it on, citing League sources:

As we wrote earlier this week, Ramsey made waves when he tweeted Monday after the Jags fifth consecutive loss that Jaguar fans were going to “miss me when I’m gone.”

Ramsey tried to downplay the controversy, when he met with the media on Thursday, and said that he was only talking to “fake Jaguar fans.” And further, he said that he wants to finish his career in Jacksonville.

We’ve documented the off-season of headaches that included: Ramsey not showing up to OTAs, delaying arriving to training camp by 5 days after the birth of his daughter, and being outspoken in an article on criticizing multiple quarterbacks including the Jaguars opponent today, the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger.

And he and former teammate Dante Fowler were both suspended for a week during the preseason for their behavior at a Jags training camp practice, where Fowler was trying to get into a fight with teammate Yannick Ngakoue.

Earlier this week, Coach Doug Marrone took an unusual step for him and actually specifically mentioned Ramsey by name, as having blown a key coverage in the first half on a Colts touchdown pass to tight end Eric Ebron.

Later Sunday morning, the Jaguars released a statement denying the trade rumor:

Ramsey was a top-10 pick of the Jaguars in 2016 and is in the third year of his four-year rookie deal. So that makes the rumors about a possible trade after the season even juicier, because he’s much more affordable for another team to acquire right now.

The Jaguars will take on the Steelers later today at TIAA Bank field.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday- Jaguars rematch Steelers looking stop losing streak

Florida Football Insiders



Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Jaguars (3-6) vs. Steelers (6-2-1)

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville

Spread: Steelers by 5 1/2 points (Courtesy of

Here’s what to watch:

Build on last week’s offensive success

The Jaguars came to life on the offensive side of the ball in Indianapolis. Even though it was a 29 – 26 loss, Leonard Fournette was back for the first time in five weeks, ran tough and ended up with two touchdowns. As we have well-documented, he also help set up the play-action pass that has been sorely missed on a consistent basis for Jacksonville.

Blake Bortles (shown above in January’s playoff win) was able to hit Donte Moncrief with an 80-yard touchdown and the Jags had their best offensive output, since game four of the season.

More than likely, the Steelers will put some points on the board, and Jacksonville has to be ready to keep up with them.

Slow down Big Ben

In their two wins last season at Pittsburgh, the Jaguars defense was more than opportunistic against Ben Roethlisberger. They had five interceptions in the regular season win and then, two more takeaways in the AFC divisional playoff win were all critical.

The Jags come in with only eight takeaways in nine games, so far. And, it’s one of the big reasons they are on a five game skid.

If Jacksonville gives Roethlisberger time to throw without sacking and knocking him down or at least pressuring him into early errant bad decisions, it’s going to be a long day.

Get the Swagger back.

Somewhere along the way, the Jaguars have lost part of what made them good in 2017. They played as a confident, almost cocky, football team, especially on defense.

They have been humbled in one decisive loss after another, recently and that swagger is not there.

Playing at home Sunday, can Jacksonville revive some of that attitude in front of the home fans by making some big plays early? There will be a large contingent of Steelers fans on hand, as they always travel well.

Let’s see if it makes a difference being back at home for the first time in almost a month.

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