NFL Preview: Jags vs. Colts Has Huge Playoff Implications

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Oct 04, 2017

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Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Jags Notes:

— This is an absolutely huge matchup in terms of the AFC South championship and first-round home advantage in the playoffs. Yes, it’s true the Colts have dominated the series in terms of wins and losses — Indy is 8-3 since 2005 — but the Jags have played them tough throughout. The last six games have been decided by seven points or less and nobody forgets the 44-17 whipping Jacksonville laid on Indy back in 2006.

— That said, Jacksonville has to figure out its pass defence in time for this game. The Jags were shredded by Oakland’s Jason Campbell last weekend; he completed 21 of 30 passes for 324 yards and two TDs. Adding to Jacksonville’s problems is the fact that S Courtney Greene was held out of the Raiders game with a shoulder injury. There’s no word yet on whether or not he’ll be healthy for this weekend.

Colts Notes:

— Speaking of health, here’s the latest from Indy’s sick bay. OT Charlie Johnson hurt his shoulder in the second quarter of the Titans game Thursday night and did not return. He was replaced for the remainder of the evening by rookie Jeff Linkenbach. Also on the offensive line, G Jamey Richard is still dealing with a hip injury. No word yet on how he’ll be for the Jacksonville game.

— It’s been a down year for QB Peyton Manning, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his numbers. Manning has extended his NFL-record of seasons with at least 25 touchdowns to 13, thanks to a pair of TD passes against Tennessee on Thursday night.

Houston Texans (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-8)

Texans Notes:

— Keep an eye on All-Pro WR Andre Johnson in this game. Last time out, he famously brawled with Titans CB Cortland Finnegan and, throughout his career, has made a habit of killing Tennessee. Johnson has eight career touchdown receptions against the Titans, more than he’s had against any other team.

Titans Notes:

— DE Jason Babin’s 10 sacks are not only a career high for the journeyman end, but have helped the former first-round choice to finally fulfill his draft potential. Before this season, Babin had just 17.5 career sacks since coming into the NFL in 2004. Babin trails only Miami’s Cam Wake (14 sacks), Green Bay’s Clay Matthews (13), Atlanta’s John Abraham (11) and Kansas City’s Tamba Hali (11) on the NFL leaderboard and could be in line for a bunch more as the season comes to a close. He’s still got dates against Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel and Peyton Manning, three QBs who have seen their sack totals increase this year.

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