4. Jacksonville Jaguars
There is a lot of fluidity in the AFC playoff race, where few teams outside of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs have distinguished themselves. The AFC is truly the land of opportunity for potential playoff teams, and the Jacksonville Jaguars hope to count themselves amongst those ranks.
The Jaguars got some life from Minshew Magic, as rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew (and his fabulous mustache) sparked a two-game winning streak in place of the injured Nick Foles. Minshew has crashed back to Earth in the past two games, losing to the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints to fall to 2-4.
The schedule does offer a reprieve for Jacksonville, however, in the form of a road trip to Cincinnati to take on the 0-6 Bengals. The Bengals were absolutely gashed by the Baltimore Ravens on the ground, giving up 269 yards rushing as Baltimore controlled the clock throughout the contest.
That is nothing new for the Bengals, who feature the NFL’s worst run defense, giving up 184.5 yards per game on the ground. That is a huge advantage for the Jaguars, who are built to run the football 30 times a game with Leonard Fournette.
This is a game that the Jaguars absolutely have to have if they are serious about competing for a playoff berth this year. Playoff contenders don’t lose on the road against 0-6 football teams, so this does fit the definition of a “must win” game for Jacksonville.