The Tennessee Titans are one of the two teams that hold the Steelers playoff hopes in the balance, aside from themselves. Their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars carries lots of weight for Pittsburgh, who will be rooting for a Jaguars loss. At the same time, the Titans will be without Will Levis and starting Ryan Tannehill, the entire team wants to win, too. That’s the mentality that Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is taking into the game.
He wants to play spoiler to not only the Jaguars’ playoff hopes, but their division title hopes, too.
“It fucking sucks — losing. Awful. That’s why I want to win,” Vrabel said. “Because you don’t sleep. You want to win for the players that bust their tail — that’s it. I mean, it’s not about, ‘Hey, we’ll go into the offseason with a good note.’ Nobody knows what you did on January 7, or 8, or 6 in April when you come back [for the offseason program.] But, you want to see it all come together. Just put four quarters together, win a game like we talked about.”
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who suffered a shoulder injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is set to practice this week and might return in the pivotal Week 18 matchup against the Titans.
“It [Lawrence’s shoulder] is definitely improving,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said. “I would expect him to potentially get more practice time this week and hopefully he’s in a position to play in this game.”
The Steelers will make the playoffs with a win against the Baltimore Ravens and a Jaguars loss to the Titans.
The Steelers can also advance with a win and a Buffalo Bills loss to the Miami Dolphins, and both of those teams will have plenty to play for. The winner of the Bills and Dolphins game will claim the AFC East title and home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The loser faces a first-round road trip to Kansas City — talk about a big swing in their Super Bowl fortune.