The Jaguars' third-place finish in the AFC South will have them play the following list of opponents in 2007: Home—Oakland, San Diego, Atlanta, Carolina and Buffalo. Away—Denver, Kansas City, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. Those games are in addition to the Jaguars' six home-and-away division games. Though the Jaguars and Titans each finished 8-8, the Titans finished second as a result of their better AFC South record.
What a "horse"
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio was in awe of Chiefs running back Larry Johnson during last week's preparation for Sunday's game. Del Rio praised Johnson's durability and Johnson gave the Jaguars an up-close look on Sunday with 33 rushing attempts for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson also caught five passes for 22 yards and even attempted a pass, which Johnson nearly completed for a touchdown.
"He's clearly that good," Del Rio said of Johnson. "We weren't as good today. He's the kind of guy who can make you hurt if you break down."
Johnson's 138 yards rushing is the most against the Jaguars by a running back this season, and the Chiefs' 170 yards rushing is the most by a Jaguars opponent in '06. Johnson set the all-time NFL record for most rushing attempts by a running back in a season, 416.
Jones-Drew falls short
Rookie running back Maurice Jones-Drew finished 59 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing and he and Fred Taylor's quest to become only the fifth rushing combination in history to each rush for 1,000 yards. Jones-Drew was held by the Chiefs to 46 yards on 12 tries, as the Jaguars fell behind 21-10 by halftime, resulting in only seven rushes by the Jaguars in the second half. Jones-Drew only carried the ball three times in the second half.
Taylor returned to action following a hamstring injury that caused him to miss one game and most of another. He carried the ball just seven times for 26 yards against the Chiefs, but he ran 26 yards for a touchdown with a screen pass from David Garrard.
"It's built for the (playoffs) but you have to get there first," Taylor said of the Jaguars team. "I felt like we could've been one of the best teams in the tournament but we didn't do enough to get there, so we have to go home feeling sorry for ourselves."
Chiefs got help
Fortunately for the Chiefs, they didn't need help from the Raiders, their hated rival. The Raiders lost to the Jets, which allowed the Jets to clinch a wild-card berth. The Chiefs clinched the AFC's other wild-card berth when the Broncos were upset by the 49ers. The Chiefs also needed the Steelers to beat the Bengals and the Patriots to beat the Titans, both of which did, in fact, happen.
The drama of the day occurred as the Chiefs were running out the clock against the Jaguars. The Bengals missed a field goal attempt that would've won their game in overtime, then Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a game-winning, 67-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in overtime.
A day that began with the Jaguars and Chiefs each needing a series of events to occur for either one of them to make the playoffs, ended with the Chiefs getting everything they needed. The same chain of events would not have worked for the Jaguars. Had they won Sunday's game, they would've also needed the Raiders to beat the Jets.