The Jacksonville Jaguars probably won’t make it to a Super Bowl this year. After all, they are one of only four teams (The Texans, Browns, and Lions) to not make it to a Super Bowl ever. If you have already been painfully aware of that statistic, I apologize, but for everyone else – you now have more reason to hope for Jacksonville to get to the World Championship of professional football (the good, American, kind).
Fortunately, I have good news for you.
I firmly believe that the Jaguars have a new window opening in front of them. A window that closed (some argue, shrunk) following the 2007 season. A window that the Jaguars haven’t seen since.
That window is a window to the playoffs, and chance and competing for a Super Bowl.
The Jaguars may not make the playoffs this year, but starting next year it will be difficult for teams and the media to turn their attention from the Jaguars.
The roster is starting to get very strong. The Jaguars have had some serious deficiencies in recent years. The offensive line was terrible in 2008. It greatly improved in 2009. The pass rush was abysmal in 2009. It became at least average in 2010. The defense was a liability in 2010. It became a dominant unit in 2011. The passing game was horrendous in 2011…get the idea?
The Jaguars are running out of things to improve. While some may argue that the team is becoming too hubristic when estimating its own strength, it is tough to not note that the team does a good to excellent job at addressing its problems when they do develop.
And outside of suspect quarterback play, the Jaguars have addressed their problems.
Wide receiver play was depressing at best last season – so far this offseason it appears we have a glut of talent at the position. It looks like things are looking up.
This year, I’m not discounting a sophomore slump for Blaine Gabbert (could it get worse!?), but I know that the development of Gabbert could yield much better results than further development of a David Garrard near his ceiling. Terry Bradshaw made the Hall of Fame after some pretty terrible first couple seasons. While I think that Gabbert is taking the steps to be successful, I don’t see the window of success really opening for the team until the next year out.
And when the 2013 season comes around, expect some serious competition from the Jaguars.
Let’s separate from the Lions, Browns, and Texans – Let’s get to the Super Bowl!
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims