If the Jacksonville Jaguars manage to sneak up to eight wins, is that enough for the playoffs in 2017?
A 9-7 record has been good enough to win the AFC South the last two seasons, setting a mark just above .500 as the cutoff to reach the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans were on the outside looking in with a tying record at 9-7 in 2017, but that wasn’t good enough to get into the playoffs as a wildcard.
While speculation runs rampant across the NFL, it is worth wondering what the goals are for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017. Is it just .500 or is it something higher? Evan Whitmoyer of iSportsWeb believe it is likely that the Jags get above .500, arguing that teams make the jump from worst to first relatively often in the modern NFL.
But, realistically, .500 may be the goal and more feasible. And that may not be good enough for the playoffs.
A five-win jump is eagerly anticipated by Jags fans in part because of an interesting bit of data from NFL Research that shows teams drafting a running back in the top-five to improve by 4.8 wins on average.
This is by no means a guarantee and it should be taken with a grain of salt, to be sure, but it is something that has boosted expectations around the Jaguars. NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman has used this data to justify an 8-8 prediction and it warrants at least some consideration.
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8-8 has sprung up on every Jags fan’s mind and expectations continue to swell.
Sadly, even with a five-win increase, 8-8 may not be enough to get into the playoffs. Rarely does a team win a division with a .500 or worse record and seldom is a conference so poorly performing that 8-8 can sneak a wildcard team into the playoffs.
Regardless of whether Leonard Fournette is good enough to boost the Jags by five wins, don’t get too caught up hoping for the playoffs in 2017.