AFC South reporter
For weeks, the Jacksonville Jaguars have looked like the best team in the AFC South.
They gained momentum in November and December as the Tennessee Titans rolled. When the teams met last month, Jacksonville had a double-digit road win. The Jaguars had the healthiest and strongest roster on paper led by a Super Bowl winning coach in Doug Pederson.
Jacksonville winning the division was inevitable, and now it’s finally happened.
Trevor Lawrence threw for 212 yards and a touchdown and Josh Allen returned a fumble for a score late in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars (9-8) clinched their second AFC South title with a 20-game win -16 over the Titans on Saturday night. .
With the win, Jacksonville will be the AFC’s No. 4 seed in the playoffs, hosting the yet-to-be-determined fifth seed in the wild-card round.
The Titans (7-10) appeared to be on the fast track to winning the game, holding a 16-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter. They were moving the ball effectively to keep the clock running. But with 2:51 left, Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins had a sack fumble on quarterback Joshua Dobbs that was recovered for a 37-yard touchdown by Allen.
The Jaguars had cut their deficit to three after picking off Dobbs late in the third quarter. Cornerback Tyson Campbell intercepted a pass underneath by sixth-year quarterback Treylon Burks and returned it to the Titans 25. Jacksonville turned the kickoff into a 36-yard field goal by Riley Patterson.
With the win, Jacksonville ended Tennessee’s season. The Titans (7-10), who ended their 2022 campaign on a seven-game losing streak, had won the previous two AFC South crowns. This also marked the Jaguars’ first shutout streak over the Titans since 2005.
Jacksonville’s previous AFC South title came in 2017, when it reached the AFC Championship Game. Jacksonville also won back-to-back division crowns in 1998-99 as part of the AFC Central Division prior to NFL realignment in 2002.
Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for three seasons (2018-20) before moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.
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