While reading through the comments, user KennanJ had a very good point arguing roster strength. While I disagreed with him, the idea of comparing rosters really appealed to me. So, why not compare the strength of the Jaguars roster to the opponents they will face throughout the season? We’ll rank the opposition and the Jaguars based on the current rosters at this point in the offseason. How do they stack up?
We start the series off with the quarterbacks.
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers is the most efficient quarterback the Jaguars will face during the season. The guy deserves another ring and has the firepower to go out and get it. If the Packers even remotely have a running game then the efficiency of Rodgers becomes even more formidable.
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots: The Jags draw the Patriots, of course. If Rodgers if the model of efficiency, then Brady is the legend that helped form the mold that Rodgers fits in. It doesn’t seem to matter who Brady is throwing to, because someone will catch the ball (unless it’s Wes Welker in the Super Bowl). The guy makes people look good.
- Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (x2): The Jags play Schaub twice each season – barring injury – and will wish that T.J. Yates was starting again. Schaub is a big time quarterback with a big time target in Andre Johnson. He can light it up or dink and dunk you for whatever yardage best fits the offense for the day.
Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions: The Lions rely entirely on Stafford’s arm. The guy is the youngest to break 5,000 passing yards. He is a formidable quarterback who is not afraid to sling it.
- Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: Like Stafford, Cutler is not afraid to sling the football. His 26 interceptions two years ago were a problem, but his career high outside of 2009 was 18 (and he only had 7 in 10 games last season). Cutler will do even better than usual in an offense not designed by Mike Martz.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills: Fitzpatrick should not be underestimated. The rifle for Buffalo can thread the needle when he wants to and has talent that far surpasses his win-loss ratio.
- Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans (x2): Hasselbeck is an ex-Super Bowl quarterback. While he may lose the job to Jake Locker, I expect he’ll be able to fend off the younger guy and may even surpass expectations. His 61.6 completion percentage and his 3,700 yards last year were the highest in four seasons and the highest since the Seahawks went 10-6 under his arm.
- Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: I have been an Andy Dalton fan since his days at TCU, but I he is not as good as the other quarterbacks on this list. He probably won’t be torching any defenses this season (especially if he gets a sophomore slump), but he has the skills to get that good.
- Mark Sanchez, New York Jets: Sanchez is a winner, somehow he gets his team to the playoffs and succeeds. The bad news? He is only 27-20 in his three seasons and is coming off an 8-8 campaign. The good news? He threw 26 touchdowns last season.
- Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders: I believe that Palmer can turn his game around in Oakland. Unfortunately, his statistics from last year don’t affirm my faith. 16 interceptions in 10 games doesn’t bode well for him next year.
- Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags have their hands full getting Gabbert to be the best he can be. Fortunately, his TD-Int ratio isn’t bad. It just isn’t great either. He should benefit from a full offseason and hopefully won’t succumb to checkdown syndrome.
- Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder does not get the same attention as Blaine Gabbert does for being supremely underwhelming in his rookie year. Like Gabbert, he was supposed to play behind a veteran quarterback for the season but was pressed into service for 11 games – starting 10. His 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions are not impressive and neither is his 1,853 yards.
- Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: I would put Andre Luck higher, but I am expecting gains from the two second year players above him. Luck could have a good year but we ultimately won’t know until the season starts. If he has a rookie season like Peyton Manning, then Luck shouldn’t be any trouble for defenses in 2012.
- Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: I do not have a definitive opinion of Tannehill just yet. I do not think he was worth the eighth overall pick though and I do not think he will have a great time in Miami during his first season, especially when Chad Ochocinco is the top man on his receiving depth chart.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft 2012 NFL Draft Selections 2012 NFL Schedule Aaron Rodgers Andre Luck Andy Dalton Blaine Gabbert Buffalo Bills Carson Palmer Chicago Bears Christian Ponder Cincinnati Bengals Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars Schedule Jake Locker Jay Cutler Mark Sanchez Matt Hasselbeck Matt Schaub Matt Stafford Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New York Jets Oakland Raiders Ryan Fitzpatrick Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans Tom Brady