The Jacksonville Jaguars had a disappointing 2015 campaign despite some massive improvements in certain areas of the roster. While the win total (5) was the most of any season under head coach Gus Bradley, retrospect highlights how huge an opportunity the Jaguars wasted by not taking a horrific AFC South by the throat and securing a division title.
Underwhelming record aside, the Jaguars showed enough to get excited about 2016. The offense was the real highlight of the season and quite possibly the entire division.
In a recent effort, ESPN put together all-star teams for each division and the Jaguars dominated the AFC South:
"Eight Jaguars made the squad: Quarterback Blake Bortles, running back T.J. Yeldon, wide receiver Allen Robinson, right guard A.J. Cann, right tackle Jermey Parnell, nose tackle Roy Miller, cornerback Davon House and punt returner Rashad Greene.That’s more than any other team (the Texans had seven) and a significant improvement from last year, when the Jaguars had just one player on the team: defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks."
Of the players who made the squad, the only ones I’m somewhat surprised to see are A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, and Roy Miller. While all 3 players were good and at times very good, I would’ve expected some other guys on the three other teams to be ranked higher. It does make sense however when you consider how poor the other teams in the division are in certain position groups.
It’s not at all surprising that the offense had more representatives (5), but the extremely encouraging part might be who didn’t make the list. Some of the high profile Jaguars left out were guys like Julius Thomas (maybe the best tight end in the division when healthy), Brandon Linder (the Jaguars best offensive lineman), Telvin Smith (the best defensive player on the Jaguars), Allen Hurns (one of the 20 best receivers in football), and Dante Fowler Jr. (injured, but probably would have made the team if healthy).
I just listed off a handful of very good players on the Jaguars who arguably could have been on the All-AFC South team, and that’s with the Jaguars already leading the team with 8 selections.
While I am disappointed about how the Jaguars finished the 2015 regular season, seeing them have so many candidates for this type of fluff piece is legitimately encouraging.