NFL Saturday open thread: Chiefs vs. Raiders; Jaguars vs. Titans
If you’re like me, it’s been hard to focus on anything other than the Detroit Lions’ “Sunday Night Football” matchup against the Green Bay Packers—now just over 24 hours away from me typing these words. Even if the Rams don’t help them out, this is the biggest Lions game in at least five years. The fact that it’s on a national stage and against one of the most hated Lions rivals in franchise history only raises the stakes.
But if you need something to calm your nerves, maybe some AFC football will do the trick. For the final week of the season, the NFL moved two AFC matchups to Saturday, both with playoff implications. First, the Chiefs take on the Raiders for a shot at the one seed. If Kansas City wins, they’ve locked in the top seed in the conference—although they would also potentially set up the AFC Championship Game in a neutral location due to the cancelled Bills/Bengals game earlier this week.
The night will close out with a win-and-you’re in game between the Titans and Jaguars.
Feel free to chat about both games in the comment section below. Or if you just want to talk about how excited/nervous you are for Sunday, I won’t stop you.
The Tennessee Titans won't care what their record is following Saturday's game at the Jacksonville Jaguars, win or lose.
A win means a home playoff game. A loss means a long offseason and a playoff streak ended at three seasons.
But the Titans' record will be unavoidably different from their playoff colleagues. (But maybe not all of them: more on that later.)
A 8-9 record is ultimately a below-.500 record. Before the season, that would be qualified as a disappointing season.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Joshua Dobbs was driving home to Atlanta on Christmas Eve to be with his family when he got a phone call. Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O'Hara was on the other end when Dobbs picked up.
"Hey, can you come in tomorrow?" O'Hara said. "We want to go through the game plan. I just want you to see this stuff as soon as possible."
Dobbs spent Christmas morning at home, then turned around and drove back to the Titans' facility that afternoon. As it turned out, the best Christmas present Dobbs received was getting the heads-up that he'd be the starter against the Dallas Cowboys for Week 17.
The Titans had to get a jump on preparation because the prime-time Thursday matchup meant a short week for Tennessee.
Now, it means a playoff berth. And the old cliché still rings true. You can't win the Super Bowl without getting in the tournament.
Titans at Jaguars
Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Game time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Online Stream: Fubo.TV, NFL Plus