Moving on with the AFC South in our continuing previews of all 32 NFL teams over the course of 32 days (or so), today it is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who finished in third place in the division last season.
The Jaguars haven’t had a good decade — they’ve had just one winning season since 2006, and that was back in 2007. Given their track record, it’s not surprising that the Jaguars won just three games last season and aren’t expected to improve much this season.
In his rookie season, QB Blake Bortles started 13 games for the team, completing 280 passes for 2,908 yards and 11 touchdowns. RBs Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart led the team in rushing, running for a combined 908 yards and six touchdowns — yes, those are their combined numbers. Rookie WR Allen Hurns led the team with 677 receiving yards and six touchdowns in just eight starts. Overall, the offense ranked last in the league. The defense did a little better, ranking 26th in the NFL.
Obviously, the quarterback is the key to any offense and Bortles will need to improve significantly in his second season in the league if the team wants to have a good season in 2015. The Jaguars did make some acquisitions in the offseason, looking to add to the offense. Those additions include RB Bernard Pierce and TE Julius Thomas. I’m not sure that will be enough, though, for a significant improvement.
Looking ahead at highlights of the Jaguars schedule, some of the games that stand out as the toughest on the Jags’ slate include consecutive road games in weeks 3 and 4 against the Patriots and Colts, respectively, a week 10 road game at the Ravens and their home game with the Colts in week 14. The Jags finish their season at the Texans. Although the Jaguars aren’t a good team, they may not finish in last place this season. After all, last year they finished ahead of the Titans in the division despite winning just three games. The Jags may win another game or two this year, but 5-11 is about as good of a record as they can expect to have this season. Still a way to go before they can be competitive for a playoff spot.