A quick look at the New England Patriots possible playoff opponents

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Rob Gronkowski
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Rob Gronkowski /
2 of 8
New England Patriots
SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 24: Calais Campbell /

Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 10-5

Week 17 Opponent: Tennessee Titans

Week 17 Scenarios: #3 seed regardless of all week 17 outcomes

The Jacksonville Jaguars clearly have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but in week 16 they were shredded by former Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers put up 44 points in a win, and now the Jags are set as the #3 seed. New England would not see them until the AFC Championship Game at the earliest, but Jacksonville will have a tough playoff path.

Calais Campbell is second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks, but he also has 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. Making things even better for the Jags defense is the fact that they have another pass rusher on the sack leaderboards. Yannick Ngakoue is fifth in the league with 12.0 sacks.

Jacksonville also has a stout passing defense. A.J. Bouye is second in the NFL with 6 interceptions and safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson have 4 of their own. The team as a whole though is tough to figure out since they’ve beaten good teams like the Steelers, Chargers, and Seahawks, but they’ve lost to the Jets, Cardinals, and 49ers. The Jags have to depend on Blake Bortles, and although he’s having a solid season with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, question marks still remain.

As a franchise, the Jaguars have just a 5-6 record in the playoffs, but they hope to improve upon that in 2017. Their last playoff appearance came in the 2007 playoffs, as they beat the Steelers in the Wild Card round before losing 31-20 to the Patriots in the Divisional round. The Patriots are actually the most common opponent for Jacksonville in the playoffs with 4 meetings. The Patriots are 3-1 in those games, with the lone loss coming in the 1998 Wild Card.