Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) owner Shad Khan decided his team’s crucial Week 18 home matchup against the Tennessee Titans (7-10) was a good time for a nap.
The Jaguars trailed 10-0 late in the second quarter of the game — one in which the winner would finish atop the AFC South and clinch a playoff berth. With Jacksonville driving, ESPN cameras panned to Khan, who looked to be sleeping in his suite. On the very next play, receiver Christian Kirk hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence to cut the deficit to four.
Suddenly, Khan was awake, as cameras panned back to Khan who was standing and jovial.
The Jaguars defeated the Titans, 20-16, to clinch their first playoff berth since 2017. A wide-awake Khan spoke to the media following the victory and a locker room embrace with Lawrence.
“It’s hard to describe,” Khan said, via the Jaguars. “I’m speechless.”
This is just the second division title for Jacksonville since Khan purchased the team in 2012. It comes in a year of change after the Jaguars parted ways with Urban Meyer before the end of last season. Jacksonville hired former Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson, a move Khan believes made all the difference.
“He’s a class act,” Khan said of Pederson. “He understands how important it is to the city and everything else we’ve done. It’s wonderful to see what has happened … He’s practicing what he’s preaching. He walks the walk. He never gets too high or low.”
Jaguars Overcome Poor Start to Clinch Playoff Berth
The Jaguars began the season 2-6, seemingly facing another season without a playoff berth. Amid the Titans’ collapse, who dropped seven straight games to end the season, Jacksonville started to pick up wins. The team ended the season on a five-game winning streak, winning six-of-seven total after the Week 11 bye week.
“This game tonight kind of symbolizes our season,” Pederson said after the game. “There were some struggles, there were some highs and lows, but in the end, we had the victory. I’m so proud of the guys for the way they have just all season long just hung together through the face of adversity.”