Overreaction is usually rampant in the NFL after week 1, but national analysts are impressed with how the Jacksonville Jaguars performed in their big win.
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t had a winning record since 2011 so we’re entering unfamiliar territory. I’m used to talking about a disappointing week 1 loss and what the Jaguars can do to try and recover to make sure they don’t fall into an 0-2 hole
Things are different, as the Jaguars march into their home opener not only undefeated, but coming off an absolutely dominant performance against a 2016 playoff team.
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Sure, the Houston Texans have some enormous issues with the offensive line, but the Jaguars dominated their division rivals on both sides of the ball and would have posted a shutout if not a for a referee-gifted touchdown drive.
National analysts can’t ignore what the Jaguars did, and that’s reflected in this week’s round-up of power rankings:
"22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0, LW: 27)The Jaguars have a pretty big Week 2 game. They get the Titans at home. Win that and they’ll be 2-0 with two division wins. The defense looked amazing in the season opener. But the season-ending injury to Allen Robinson is crushing to an offense that wouldn’t have even been that impressive with him."
"22. JaguarsThey sure didn’t look like the team we saw in the preseason when they blew out the Texans on the road. The defense could be dominant."
"21. Jacksonville JaguarsFunny thing about finding a franchise quarterback: Franchises really need one … until they don’t. Not when defenses like the Jags’ rewrite the script. Jacksonville came screaming off the edge, bull-rushing and blowing right past the Texans’ offensive line for an incredible 10 sacks on Sunday.The persistent hand-wringing over what to do with Blake Bortles at quarterback goes out the window when the pass rush generates almost as many sacks as Bortles had completions (11).Calais Campbell enjoyed a nice afternoon at Initech, too."
"21. Jacksonville Jaguars2017 record: 1-0Preseason ranking: No. 28Jacksonville’s defense recorded 10 sacks and generated pressure on 54 percent of dropbacks in Week 1, both tops in the NFL. Possible overreaction: Don’t expect 10 sacks every week, but don’t expect a pass rush featuring Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler Jr. to slow down either. The Jaguars could be on the rise."
These numbers are about right, and it’s kind of interesting to see most people grouping the Jaguars in the 21-22 range.
I’m actually a bit more skeptical than most of them.
It has nothing to do with what we saw last Sunday however. Based purely on the tape, the Jaguars look like a team with very few weaknesses to exploit on defense, and the offensive line was outstanding against a terrific defensive front.
My tentativeness to buy in, even a little bit, has more to do with being burned over and over again by this team.
If they beat the Titans at home and move to 2-0, I’ll change my tune.