If the Jacksonville Jaguars truly want to take a step forward in 2017, they’ll have to focus on these key areas.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must show improvement in 2017. 2016 was a huge disappointment for fans who had high expectations after reading the preseason hype.
With new management in 2017, expectations are starting to rise yet again. Therefore a successful season is expected. There are some obvious areas that must show significant growth to avoid a repeat of 2016.
The following areas are the most critical areas the Jaguars must improve. First, reduce the number of penalties. Second, increase the number of takeaways. Third, improve the quarterback play. Last, improve the offensive line. These areas are crucial to a better 2017.
Penalties Penalties Penalties
The Jacksonville Jaguars were ranked 31st (second to last) in the league in penalties in 2016, averaging 8.1 penalties per game. Penalties are drive killers. It is very difficult to build momentum when constantly moving backward. The offensive line ranked first for the most penalties. Change in this area would make a huge difference in 2017.
The Jaguars defense was ranked sixth overall in yards allowed during the 2016 NFL season. However, the Jags had only seven interceptions and six fumble recoveries. The Jags team was -16 in turnover differential. An increase in takeaways should help us win several more games. Teams that win the turnover battle win games.
Jags quarterback Blake Bortles had a forgettable 2016 season. His QB rating was 78.8 and he threw sixteen interceptions. Bortles was rated 25th in the NFL by Steve Palozzolo of Pro Football Focus.
Palazzolo also stated that he had constant misreads of opposing defenses and poor accuracy. Cris Collinsworth and several other announcers commented on his lengthy throwing motion and poor footwork. Bortles needs substantial work during the offseason. He must improve his mechanics, ability to read defenses and accuracy.
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The offensive line is the final area for improvement. To start, they were dead last in the NFL in the number of penalties they committed. Statistically, they were rated number 19 in the NFL overall. They were 19th in pass blocking and 22nd in run blocking per Pro Football Focus. They need to reduce those penalties and improve their statistics.
The new coaching staff and management must address these issues. First and foremost, they must reduce penalties. It is equally important to increase the number of defensive turnovers. They should to provide help for Blake Bortles. Lastly, they need to aid the offensive line. The Jacksonville Jaguars will have an improved team with work in these areas.