The Jacksonville Jaguars have an excellent chance for a break out season. The Jags have been the bottom feeders of the NFL for far too long.
The stars are perfectly aligned to give them a much improved record this season. First, they are ranked 30 or 31 for the weakest strength of schedule. Second, they have added several game changing free agents. Third, the draft choices from the last two years have NFL experience. Last, the addition of a running game and some other factors will help the offensive line.
WEAK SCHEDULE IS A HUGE PLUS
The Jaguars have a very favorable schedule. They are rated second to last in the league for strength of schedule. The Jaguars don’t play two strong opponents on successive weeks all season. The Jags only have two potential really cold weather games and one is against Cleveland. Unfortunately, the entire AFC South division has a very soft schedule. This means that our goal is that we must at least break even in our division. That is a very obtainable goal.
FREE AGENT BONANZA
The Jaguars picked up some strong free agents. They are not only solid players but they are at critical positions on the field. Calais Campbell will shore up the defensive line. His presence on the field and in the locker room will boost the play of Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue. Brandon Allen is a solid offensive lineman and will help our weak offensive line improve. A.J. Buoye is a seasoned secondary player. Our secondary had very few interceptions and appeared tired at the end of games in 2016. This pickup is a winner.
OUR DRAFT CHOICES ARE NOW VETERANS
We will not classify Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue as rookies any longer. They have been seasoned by a year of NFL experience. Dante Fowler, after missing his first season due to injury, also has a season of NFL experience. (ALERT Fowler was arrested for simple assault during the writing of this article). Myles Jack had limited playing time but is ready to make a solid contribution this season. Telvin Smith is an exciting player who can only get better.
A RUNNING GAME AND OTHER CHANGES WILL HELP OUR OFFENSIVE LINE
Our offensive line was the weakest unit on the Jaguars last season. The addition of Brandon Allen, a veteran, and Cam Robinson, a rookie, will solidify the line. The Jags have added a franchise caliber running back in Leonard Fournette. Blake Bortles spent the off season working on his throwing mechanics. His footwork and throwing motion added too much time from dropback to pass. The line had to block for too long. Also, a more disciplined coach will reduce the constant penalties.
A SOLID SEASON AND MAYBE A MAGICAL SEASON
If all these factors should come together and if the injury bug doesn’t plague the Jaguars this might be “The Year of the Jaguar”. If some of these factors come to fruition the Jags will have a solid and improved season. All of these factors are entirely possible and have a chance of coming together.