The Jacksonville Jaguars get a bump in this week’s power rankings after a dominant performance under interim head coach Doug Marrone.
Well who saw that coming.
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On the eve of Christmas and not even a week removed from seeing their head coach of four years be fired, the Jacksonville Jaguars came out and manhandled the Tennessee Titans from start to finish in week 16. You couldn’t have asked for a more complete performance from a team that hadn’t had a good game from every unit at all in 2016. Interim coach Doug Marrone did what head coach Gus Bradley never could in Jacksonville – beat a team with a winning record.
So with a satisfying victory that eliminated the Titans from the playoffs under their belt, the Jaguars have one more week to try and help Marrone make his case to be retained as head coach this offseason.
Here’s a brief collection of some rankings around the web as the Jaguars relish in the glory of a rare win:
"26. Jacksonville Jaguars (last week: 28)In what’s been a wildly disappointing season, Blake Bortles at least played well in Week 16. His status with the team remains up in the air considering the head coaching situation, but at least he showed something under interim head coach Doug Marrone."
"30JaguarsWho was that playing quarterback for the Jaguars against the Titans? Blake Bortles looked good — for once this season."
"27. Jacksonville JaguarsMuch was made of Doug Marrone’s odd departure from Buffalo, when he opted out of his contract … escaped … got out of Dodge … as the organization went through an ownership change. By beating the Titans (a team playing for the division) on Saturday, the now-interim coach of the Jaguars might have taken a step closer to getting back into the saddle on a more permanent basis. Make no mistake: The Jags were in control of the affair long before Titansquarterback Marcus Mariota broke his leg. Make no mistake: Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles decided to proffer his best day of the season the week after his head coach got fired."
"28. Jacksonville Jaguars2016 record: 3-12Week 16 ranking: 30Blake Bortles has thrown for 300 yards 11 times in his career. Saturday’s win against the Titans was the first time the Jaguars won when Bortles threw for 300. Despite the win, could the Week 17 game at the Colts be Bortles’ last as the Jags’ starter?"
It’s hard not to be impressed by Jacksonville’s performance (although Prisco appears to be steadfast in his ranking at 30), which leads to the natural question of ‘what if?’
What if the Jaguars had fired Gus Bradley earlier, perhaps after the Thursday night blowout to the Titans? Would Doug Marrone have been able to right the ship and get the Jaguars into the thick of the AFC South? We’ll never know. It’s more important to focus on Blake Bortles anyway and to keep an eye on how he plays in week 17.