The Jacksonville Jaguars are finally poised to make a return to the NFL playoffs after a decade of missing the postseason: the last time the Jags saw a playoff game was in 2007, when the team knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers only to be beaten by the New England Patriots the following week.
But one team might stand in the Jags’ way. It’s a team the Jags have a long history of struggling against when it counted: the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans are hardly the monolith they were back in the 1999 season, when the Jags’ almost-perfect season that included 14 wins was blotted by the Titans, the Jags’ division mates, who beat the Jags twice during the regular season.
The Titans were the only team to defeat the Jaguars during the regular season.
Even worse, the Titans went on to beat the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game in January 2000.
Had it not been for the Titans, the Jaguars would have secured their first Super Bowl appearance in the then-young franchise’s history.
It was the last time the Jags made it to the AFC Championship Game.
This year, the Jags have improved considerably, although quarterback play is still a point of concern and occasional ridicule. The defense has also contributed heavily to make the Jags serious contenders after posting a decade of losing seasons.
Its anybody’s guess how the Titans are winning, but the two teams are now tied at 8-4 and share the division lead.
However, the Titans currently maintain a tiebreaker over the Jags after walloping them 37-16 in week 2.
Jags fans hope the team can notch a victory when the teams meet again on New Year’s Eve–the final game of the season.
A lot could be on the line then, including a division title–or even a playoff spot.
Time will tell, but Jaguars fans are hoping the Curse of the Titans doesn’t put an end to an otherwise promising season yet again.