The Jacksonville Jaguars need to win 5.5 games (we’ll call it six since tying is so rare in the NFL) if they want to beat the Vegas in the 2015 season. Five games seams daunting for a team that hasn’t managed to win that many since 2010 (so, so long ago).
While the guys over at Fox Sports think that 5.5 games is too optimistic for the Jaguars – though they note that the Jaguars are really trying with all the free agent additions this year – I think that they are wrong. This isn’t the same team from five years ago.
This isn’t just being a fan. This is about progress in the NFL. Seldom do teams stay in a rut for an extended period of time. Sure, there are the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders, and, admittedly, the Jacksonville Jaguars over the past eight seasons. Those ruts end, though. This is the NFL. Parity is king! You almost have to try in order to stay unsuccessful for eight years or more.
While there should be a conspiracy theory about former general manager Gene Smith legitimately trying to keep the Jaguars bad (maybe there already is), it’s clear that current general manager Dave Caldwell and his head coach Gus Bradley are taking things forward. The Jaguars are progressing and it isn’t just because of free agent additions.
There’s a spirit to the Jaguars that was lacking before.
The Jags were a team where former cornerback Aaron Ross went for a “vacation” for a year before returning to the New York Giants. The Jaguars weren’t going to put together a competitive unit because the lack of the lack of trust between management and the coaches and the coaches and the players. Nobody embodied that more than head coach Mike Mularkey during his franchise-worst 2-14 run.
If we still had Mularkey heading up the joint then 5.5 games may be unattainable.
But we don’t.
We have a competent group of people running a team filled with young players who have buy-in from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom. From owner Shad Khan down to 2015 draft pick Neal Sterling, the Jaguars are playing together.
This year may not yield a 9-7 record (though it could happen), but to think that this is the same team from years ago is a mistake.
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