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Jags finish home sked against Titans

(SportsNetwork.com) - The teams have nine wins in 28 combined games and the playoffs are a memory whose optimism flickered out weeks ago.

But don't simply assume the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans will have the dreaded "nothing to play for" disease when they meet Sunday afternoon at EverBank Field.

The Jaguars, in their 2013 finale in Florida, will bid a home turf farewell to veteran center Brad Meester, who said Wednesday that he'd retire at the end of this, his 14th season in the league.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder was a second-round selection out of Northern Iowa in 2000 and is one of just five active players in the NFL to have spent at least 14 years in the same city.

Also taking a potential sentimental victory lap could be running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the eight-year veteran whose contract expires at the end of the season.

"You never know," he said. "You just want to go out there and put your best foot forward, you want to go out there and show your best."

Jones-Drew sat out of last week's 27-20 loss at Buffalo that put a slight skid on a Jaguars team that had won four of five since an 0-8 start. Unavailable as well this week is wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who was placed on injured reserve with a groin problem and will be unable to add to his team-best 66 receptions and 777 receiving yards.

Jacksonville turned the ball over four times - a season-high - against Buffalo, including two interceptions from quarterback Chad Henne, who completed 21-of-36 passes for two touchdowns and 237 yards.

"It was a game of missed opportunities," coach Gus Bradley said. "We didn't play like we're capable of playing, whether it was a fumble, interception, things like that. In the locker room, our hearts are broken right now because of this, but I felt like our spirit is not."

The Titans arrive with similarly jarred emotions.

Tennessee dropped a 37-34 decision in overtime against Arizona, its fifth loss in six games since postseason chatter began at the halfway point after a 4-4 start.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick established a career-high with 402 passing yards and threw for four TDs, but the second of two interceptions ultimately yielded the Cardinals' game-winning field goal in the extra session. The miscue voided a rally in which the Titans scored 17 points in the final four minutes to send the game to overtime.

"Nobody on this team wants to lose," tight end Delanie Walker said. "Just because we're not going to the playoffs, you don't throw the games away. You go out there and fight. We're going to fight for our coaches. We're going to fight for each other."

A porous run defense was gashed for 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns by the Cardinals and is now averaging 119.1 ground yards allowed per game along with 20 TDs - which places it second from last in the league in the latter category.

A willing beneficiary could be Jacksonville youngster Jordan Todman, who made his first start in Jones-Drew's absence last week and rumbled for 109 yards while adding four catches for another 44 yards.

It was a loss to the Jaguars on Nov. 10 - Jacksonville's first win of the season - that both kicked off Tennessee's tailspin and triggered the Jaguars' modest renaissance.

The Titans are 0-4 in division games this season, with a finale scheduled next week against Houston. A Jacksonville win this week, remarkably, would lift it to second in the division - ahead of the Titans and trailing only first-place Indianapolis.

"You wonder why they're motivated? They're motivated for a lot of reasons to win this football game. It's a pride thing now," coach Mike Munchak said. "We got to finish with two here. It does mean a lot for that reason. You're battling for second in the division I guess or whatever that comes to at the end. We got to beat a team that has given us trouble."

Tennessee leads the all-time series, 20-17, but the Jaguars have won four of six since December 2010.

"We did everything we could to lose that football game (in November) by turning it over and still were down by two," Munchak said. "We owe them for this year, last year, the year before that."

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Ryan's Hype

Long regarded as a journeyman or a middling starter, Fitzpatrick joined the elite for at least one week by surpassing the 400-yard mark for the first time in his 74th career start.

He's been lights out against the Jaguars in his last three meetings with them - combining to post seven touchdowns and a 110.2 passer rating with just a single interception.

Running Man

That rumbling you've heard lately in northeast Florida has been the restarting of Jones-Drew's engine after a sleepy start to 2013.

The stocky fireplug failed to reach 75 yards in a single game until week eight, but he's gone past that number in each of his past three games - including his first triple-digit outing, 103 yards, in Week 14.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

It may indeed come down to motivation. The Jaguars, though long removed from playoff discussion, hung their second half on pride and have won four of six.

The Titans, meanwhile, were on the fringe of contention halfway through before collapsing. Unless Munchak revs the engines in the locker room, it's hard to imagine Tennessee as the one with more juice Sunday.

Sports Network predicted outcome: Jaguars 27, Titans 20

12/20 10:33:23 ET

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Schedule

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Standings

 2013 American Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-New England 12 4 0 .750 444 338 8-0 4-4 4-2 9-3
NY Jets 8 8 0 .500 290 387 6-2 2-6 3-3 5-7
Miami 8 8 0 .500 317 335 4-4 4-4 2-4 7-5
Buffalo 6 10 0 .375 339 388 4-4 2-6 3-3 5-7
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Cincinnati 11 5 0 .688 430 305 8-0 3-5 3-3 8-4
Pittsburgh 8 8 0 .500 379 370 5-3 3-5 4-2 6-6
Baltimore 8 8 0 .500 320 352 6-2 2-6 3-3 6-6
Cleveland 4 12 0 .250 308 406 3-5 1-7 2-4 3-9
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Indianapolis 11 5 0 .688 391 336 6-2 5-3 6-0 9-3
Tennessee 7 9 0 .438 362 381 3-5 4-4 2-4 6-6
Jacksonville 4 12 0 .250 247 449 1-7 3-5 3-3 4-8
Houston 2 14 0 .125 276 428 1-7 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Denver 13 3 0 .813 606 399 7-1 6-2 5-1 9-3
x-Kansas City 11 5 0 .688 430 305 5-3 6-2 2-4 7-5
x-San Diego 9 7 0 .563 396 348 5-3 4-4 4-2 6-6
Oakland 4 12 0 .250 322 453 3-5 1-7 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
 2013 National Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Philadelphia 10 6 0 .625 442 382 4-4 6-2 4-2 9-3
Dallas 8 8 0 .500 439 432 5-3 3-5 5-1 7-5
NY Giants 7 9 0 .438 294 383 4-4 3-5 3-3 6-6
Washington 3 13 0 .188 334 478 2-6 1-7 0-6 1-11
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Green Bay 8 7 1 .531 417 428 4-3-1 4-4 3-2-1 6-5-1
Chicago 8 8 0 .500 445 478 5-3 3-5 2-4 4-8
Detroit 7 9 0 .438 395 376 4-4 3-5 4-2 6-6
Minnesota 5 10 1 .344 391 480 5-3 0-7-1 2-3-1 4-7-1
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Carolina 12 4 0 .750 366 241 7-1 5-3 5-1 9-3
x-New Orleans 11 5 0 .688 414 304 8-0 3-5 5-1 9-3
Atlanta 4 12 0 .250 353 443 3-5 1-7 1-5 3-9
Tampa Bay 4 12 0 .250 288 389 3-5 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Seattle 13 3 0 .813 417 231 7-1 6-2 4-2 10-2
x-San Francisco 12 4 0 .750 406 272 6-2 6-2 5-1 9-3
Arizona 10 6 0 .625 379 324 6-2 4-4 2-4 6-6
St. Louis 7 9 0 .438 348 364 5-3 2-6 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
Final
PIT 1
CIN 4
Final
CLE 2
KAN 8
Final
WAS 2
ANA 7
Final
TOR 9
BAL 3
Final
DET 8
CWS 6
Final
ATL 0
MIA 1
Final
TAM 7
MIN 3
Final
BOS 3
NYY 9
Final
NYM 0
STL 3
Final
CHC 9
ARI 2
Final
MIL 1
SDP 2
Final
COL 2
SFG 1
Final
OAK 4
TEX 5
Final
SEA 2
HOU 5
Final
LOS 2
PHI 3
12:10pm Today
ATL
MIA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
3:10pm Today
COL
SFG
 
3:35pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
IND 101
ATL 85
Final
TOR 100
BRK 95
Final
CHI 99
WAS 101
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
MON 4
TAM 3
Final
DET 0
BOS 3
Final
PHI 1
NYR 4
Final
LOS 3
SJS 4
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR