What is it with CBS Sports ragging on the Jags lately? The team just can’t seem to catch a break! It gets worse with Pete Prisco’s predictions for the Jaguars in 2012. While the prediction is by Prisco, the analysis is mostly by Ryan Wilson. Unfortunately the analysis, while thorough, did not do enough to match up with the 4-12 prediction from Prisco.
The analysis goes very in depth on what the team’s focus is, what is new, what is old, what could change, what should change, and why it all won’t come together this year for the Jags. I like the read and advise you all to get on there and peruse it.
The analysis of the Xs and Os by Pat Kirwin was smart and got to the point. The Jags simply do not have enough firepower to throw all the time, but the team needs to start taking chances and see how he does early in the season with his new toys (Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, and Lee Evans). Prisco predicted that Gabbert would have 3,600 yards which is a sharp increase over his 2,214 from last year. The emphasis by Kirwin was on getting Gabbert to pass more from the Jaguars base package in order to take advantage of Blackmon’s play making ability. With Bob Bratkowski calling the plays, the quarterback will certainly have more attempts and will rely on big gains and less mistakes to be effective. If the margin for error is slim though, expect the team to go back to running the ball.
Prisco predicted Maurice Jones-Drew to get a more than respectable 1,558 yards in 2012. If this is true then the 48% of the offensive production that was MJD in 2011 will shift to place less emphasis on the running back and more on the passing game and other receivers. 30% of the offense flowing through Maurice Jones-Drew is a good thing, a lot less emphasis on pocket hercules may not make him feel great about his role, but it should help the team win games.
Which brings me to the odd part of the prediction. Prisco predicts big changes in the emphasis of the Jaguars offense: Gabbert suddenly explodes with production, Jones-Drew is still ridiculously productive. Yet he only predicts the team winning four games in 2012. The majority of the analysis about the team emphasizes the great play of the defense and its continued success for next season and places an emphasis on shifting the offense away from Maurice Jones-Drew. If those things are accomplished (as is predicted in the article and yardage predictions by Prisco) then why will the team only win four games? An offense that puts up big numbers and a defense that held eight teams to under 17 points last season should translate into wins, shouldn’t it?
I really enjoyed CBS Sports’ article, but I find the logic behind the prediction to be puzzling. It is the most positive piece of journalism on the Jags from a major news source in a while, but it does not seem to mesh its ideas with its outcome. If the Jags do as CBS suggests, it should be a great year for the team. If the Jags end up with the record CBS suggests, then the team will not be having nearly the amount of success that the analysis speculates could occur.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims