Football Teams in the AFC
Dec 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) during the first quarter of an NFL football game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars were a massive disappointment in 2016 in multiple respects and their record (3-13) was worse than even the least optimistic analysts could have predicted.
Going into 2017, those same analysts remain cautiously optimistic about the Jaguars despite several high-end additions via free agency and the draft.
This hesitance was on display again in a recent piece by Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus, where he projected the records and ranking of the entire AFC for all 16 teams.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
This offseason the Jaguars added several players who could play key roles on the team including Leonard Fournette, A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell. The only interior defenders with more pressures than Campbell in the PFF era are J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh. If this team can take advantage of their new talent and Blake Bortles plays more like he did in 2015 than 2016, this team will have their best season in years. However, with Bortles’ inconsistency, it’s hard to project them to win too many more games than they had been the last few years.
Jahnke only has the Cleveland Browns (4-12) and the New York Jets (2-14) projected lower.
Technically, the Jaguars are tied with the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos with 6 wins so you could really place them at 12 or 14. Still, it’s quite a discouraging projection.
Reading above, it’s clear Jahnke is biasing heavily towards quarterback play and justifiably so. If you ranked each team’s quarterback situation, the list honestly wouldn’t change very much.
Stomping Blake Bortles has become the popular and easy thing to do this offseason and I don’t expect this to change. It shouldn’t change until Bortles steps on to the field in the regular season and gives people a reason to believe otherwise.