The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the regular season 10-6 and winners of the AFC South division. Pundits had their doubts about the talent of their defense and their quarterback Blake Bortles entering the playoffs.
A playoff division postseason win over the Pittsburg Steelers had those pundits were eating humble pie but a New England Patriots comeback win led by Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game was the only obstacle in the way of the Jaguars taking their talents to the Super Bowl.
The Jaguars led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter of that game, but couldn’t hold the lead against the defending champions.
New season, the same goal.
Bortles has flaws that are not hidden, but he won games for the Jaguars when it mattered. His release point is low at times making his accuracy problematic. He makes up with it by making plays with his legs.
Offensively, the Jaguars execute a well-designed passing game that is complemented by their power running game. Leonard Fournette rushed for over 1,000 yards his rookie season. This season with maturity, the 6-foot, 228-pound Fournette will improve on finishing his runs with more excitement.
Fournette will be more exciting because of the Jaguars upgrade at the offensive line. The additions of former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell and left tackle Cam Robinson who was diamond found in the second round, will help keep Fournette’s jersey clean and give Bortles confidence with the pass protection.
The Jaguars defense is worth the price of admission. If you don’t believe me ask cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Marcell Dareus at nose tackle allows Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson to have opposing offenses think twice about running the ball. Linebackers Myles Jack and Tevin Smith are fast for the east and west ends of the football field.
The defensive backs are arguably the best in the NFL and they downgraded. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are blankets as cornerbacks. The safety position is reliable with Barry Church and Tashuan Gibson. Aaron Colvin took his talents to the Houston Texans, slot corner D.J. Hayden will have big shoes to fill fast, Jaguars host the Patriots for the second game of the season.
WWW prediction: Jaguars can start the season in impressive fashion or look at themselves in the mirror early. New York Giants on the road and Patriots at home for their first two games of the season. There is no doubt this season, we are well aware of this team. 9-7 will have the Jaguars back in the playoffs but to close to repeat as division winners.