NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** With a chance to earn a playoff berth, the Tennessee Titans (8-7) conclude the regular season with a New Year's Eve matchup at home against the 2017 AFC South Champion Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5). Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CST on Sunday, Dec. 31.
The Titans won the first of two annual games with the Jaguars on Sept. 17. After falling behind 3-0, the Titans recorded the game's next 30 points and scored on six consecutive possessions, eventually winning by a final score of 37-16. The Titans defense forced three turnovers, and the offense rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel and analyst Trent Green will call the action, and Jamie Erdahl will report from the sidelines.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
Additionally, ESPN Radio will broadcast the game to a national radio audience.
WIN AND IN**
For the first time since 2011, the Titans enter Week 17 in the hunt for the postseason. With the Jaguars already clinching the division crown and a No. 3 seed, the Titans are alive for either the fifth seed or the sixth seed in the six-team AFC playoff field. The Baltimore Ravens (9-6), Buffalo Bills (8-7) and Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) are the other AFC Wild Card contenders.
The simplest avenue for the Titans is to defeat the Jaguars, which would guarantee them their first playoff appearance since the 2008 season. There are three total combinations for the Titans to gain entry to the playoffs, as follows:
Tennessee win (vs. Jacksonville) OR
Buffalo loss (at Miami) Los Angeles Chargers loss (vs. Oakland) OR
Tennessee tie (vs. Jacksonville) Buffalo loss or tie (at Miami) Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie (vs. Oakland)
In any of the three scenarios, the Titans either will hold a better overall record or hold a better conference record than the Bills and Chargers, which would break the tie between the three clubs.
The Ravens hold the advantage for the fifth seed with a 9-6 mark. However, a Ravens loss this week against the Cincinnati Bengals coupled with a Titans win would give the Titans the fifth seed.
Should the Titans earn the sixth seed, it would set up a rematch—and the third meeting of the season—with the Jaguars at EverBank Field on Wild Card Weekend. The fifth seed will travel to Kansas City to meet the Chiefs, who won the AFC West and secured the fourth seed.
The Bills-Dolphins, Chargers-Raiders and Ravens-Bengals contests will be played simultaneously to the Titans-Jaguars game this Sunday (3:25 p.m. CT).
The Jaguars traveled to San Francisco last week and fell to the 49ers by a final score of 44-33. Despite the loss, they clinched the AFC South title due to the Titans' 27-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Jaguars field a top-10 defense and a top-10 offense in 2017. They rank third in overall defense (289.7 yards per game) and first in passing defense (173.5). Offensively, they are sixth overall (375.1) and first in rushing (145.3).
Doug Marrone is in his first full season as Jacksonville's head coach. The club's former assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach was appointed to his current post after serving as the interim head coach for the final two games of the 2016 campaign. Marrone, who has close ties to Middle Tennessee—his father-in-law is former Middle Tennessee State coach and athletic director Boots Donnelly—previously was the head coach at the Buffalo Bills and Syracuse University.
In addition to promoting Marrone, the Jaguars' changes in 2017 included a familiar face. Tom Coughlin was hired as executive vice president of football operations following a run as the head coach of the New York Giants from 2004–2015. He was Jacksonville's head coach from their inaugural 1995 season through 2002.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Jacksonville Jaguars.