After obliterating the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Jacksonville Jaguars are forcing national analysts to take notice – and it’s confusing.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are good.
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That seems to be the prevailing question after week 5, with the Jaguars now putting up a wide spectrum of performances for folks to analyze.
Things would be less confusing if the Jaguars had just taken care of business and beaten a wildly overachieving New York Jets team in week 4, but at 3-2 it’s much harder to get a gauge on what this team is.
Clearly the ceiling of the Jaguars is currently constituted by quarterback Blake Bortles, but there’s a dimension where this version of the Jacksonville Jaguars can be a contender in the playoffs.
Will that actually come to fruition? It’s hard to tell, and that bewilderment is evident yet again in this week’s power rankings:
"14. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2, LW: 22)How did they look so bad against the Titans and Jets? I’m going to wait to see two good games in a row before I buy in. It’s not too much to ask."
"14. JaguarsTheir defense and running game has them atop the AFC South. Maybe that formula can get them to the playoffs."
"13. Jacksonville JaguarsWhile being careful not to get all hot dogs and apple pie about the Jaguars, it’s hard not to be impressed with the three-touchdown win over the Steelers — in Pittsburgh. Center stage for Jacksonville: turnovers, like always. Except, we’re not talking turnovers from the Jags’ quarterback, and it’s damn refreshing. Doug Marrone‘s secondary balled out, picking five Ben Roethlisberger throws, two of which went to the house. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash deserves much credit here. The Jags entered last weekend with the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL, but it was easy to think that was a byproduct of the QBs Jacksonville faced over the first four weeks of the season (Tom Savage/ Deshaun Watson, Marcus Mariota (who throws less than many quarterbacks), Joe Flacco and Josh McCown). Not so on Sunday."
"12. Jacksonville Jaguars2017 record: 3-2Week 5 ranking: No. 2482.2 percent chance. The Jaguars have the best point differential and best turnover differential so far this season, which is a big reason why they have the sixth-best overall chance of making the playoffs through Week 5 (third best in AFC). But the Jags also have the easiest remaining schedule. That plays a big part, too."
I’m legitimately shocked to see the Jacksonville Jaguars ranked so high, even after such a dominant win against a Super Bowl contender. P
Folks are still, rightfully so, hesitant to buy into a team that hasn’t shown it can function passing the ball on offense. But it appears the Jaguars at least have the respect of the analysts putting together the rankings. Schwab over at Yahoo! has been an ardent critic of the Jaguars with Bortles so it says something about the play of the defense for him to have the Jags as a top 12 squad.
As for me? I think this is too high. I’d put the Jaguars closer to 16 and wait for them to show me they can come home and beat teams they should.
Like this week – show the home fans you can take care of business and beat up on a second year quarterback still learning the ropes. Take down the Los Angeles Rams this week and the road to playoffs actually begins.