Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Four Downs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Four Downs

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

FIRST DOWN

PLAYOFF CLINCHING BLINDERS

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone must know his players realize a win over Houston on Sunday clinches the franchise's first playoff berth in 10 years. So he must have brought it up Wednesday morning in the team meeting, right?

"No, no, no, no, no," Marrone said.

And ...

"You're not taking me there. Nope. Not jumping. No," Marrone said.

And ...

"I really mean this and I've said this before: We're focused on what we have to do (Wednesday)," Marrone said. "We've got a team coming in that's getting players back. They want nothing more than to beat us and we want nothing more than to beat them. Right now, I'm trying to keep the focus on today. That's the way I've been all year."

The Jaguars have handled prosperity better later in the season. They didn't win consecutive games until Games 7-8. That turned into a four-game winning streak and they currently have a two-game winning streak.

SECOND DOWN

TWICE IN ONE YEAR

From 2008-16, the Jaguars were never a double-digit home favorite. But they'll make it two out of three weeks Sunday. The Jaguars were a 10-point favorite against Indianapolis on Dec. 3 and won 30-10.

The Jaguars (9-4) opened as an 11-point favorite over Houston (4-9).

"I think they're one of the best teams in the league," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said of the Jaguars. "They're playing at a high level. Just like every year in this league, teams get hot. Jacksonville's hot."

It will be the 24th time in franchise history the Jaguars will be a double-digit home favorite. They are 18-5 straight-up and 10-12-1 against the spread.

The Jaguars will be a double-digit home favorite against Houston for the fourth time and are 0-3 against the spread. The Jaguars lost 13-10 (minus-10 1/2) in 2002, won 21-14 (minus-13) in 2005 and lost 21-19 (minus-11) in 2006. …

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