AFC playoff picture: Ripple effects of a potential Jaguars win over Colts in Week 18

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been looking toward the offseason for some time now, but their final game of the 2021 regular season could have a significant impact that stretches well beyond Duval County.

Jacksonville hosts AFC South-rival Indianapolis at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday in a game that carries significant postseason implications. Win and the Colts are in the playoffs. Lose, and things get very interesting.

The Jaguars have won just two games in 2021, but own a six-game home winning streak over the Colts dating back to the 2015 season. Jacksonville lost its first meeting with Indianapolis this season in Week 10, but fell by a mere six points.

As the saying goes, any given Sunday. And this Sunday could send shockwaves throughout the AFC playoff picture, especially as it pertains to the final two playoff spots, if the Jaguars can find a way to push that winning streak to seven games.

If the Jaguars defeat the Colts — who are coming off a 23-20 loss to Las Vegas — it could open the door to several enticing scenarios, including:

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The Chargers would secure a playoff berth by simply beating the Raiders on Sunday night. As it pertains to the much-talked about tie scenario between the Chargers and Raiders, such an outcome seems unlikely, unless both teams were willing to subject themselves to intense criticism.

What’s more likely, of course, is a Colts win over the Jaguars, sending Indianapolis to the playoffs and leaving the rest of the league to watch the Raiders and Chargers fight for the final wild-card spot.

With so much volatility possible based on how Sunday plays out, there’s plenty of reason to tune into the final weekend of the 2021 regular season.

Follow Nick Shook on Twitter.

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