Playoffs on the Line

Jack Del Rio (Phil Coale/AP Images)

The Jaguars play a 16-game season, but their playoff hopes could end after nine games.

And the New York Jets are in the same position.

That's how important their game against the New York Jets in the Meadowlands is Sunday. The winner will still be alive at 5-4 in the playoff race. The loser will be 4-5 and need to win six of the last seven games to get to the 10-win plateau that is usually needed to make the playoffs, although the Patriots didn't make it last year at 11-5.

Two of the Jaguars' last seven games are against the Colts and the Patriots. A loss to the Jets would mean they'd have to win one of those games to get to 10-6.

They already lost the opener to the Colts and they're 2-7 against them in their last nine meetings dating back to 2004 and 4-13 overall in franchise history. And they're 0-6 against New England's Tom Brady since 2003, including two playoff games.

If they beat the Jets they can get to 10 wins by beating the Bills, 49ers, Texans, Dolphins and Browns.

Even Jets coach Rex Ryan is conceding how important this game is because both teams are 4-4.

"Clearly, both teams know the loser of this game has an uphill battle. This one is that critical of a football game. Jacksonville knows that. So do we," he said.

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