The Jacksonville Jaguars were off last week, but they gained some steam in the power rankings thanks to a big trade and the momentum of their last win.
Over the course of the first 7 weeks, the Jacksonville Jaguars defense cemented itself as the best in the league, mostly on the strength of their pass defense.
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The only real stain on their sterling defensive record was their rush defense. The Jaguars have given up a league-worst 5.2 yards per attempt on the ground (somehow worse than the New England Patriots) and it’s directly led to some losses – particularly their inability to stop Todd Gurley at the end of the Los Angeles Rams game.
To that end, the front office in Jacksonville made a big splash by trading for Marcel Dareus. The former third overall pick has been a force for most of his career, but he fell out of favor in Buffalo. If he can perform up to his potential, Jacksonville might have fixed their biggest deficiency outside of quarterback.
So while they didn’t have a game, the Jaguars won this by week.
So where does that leave them in the power rankings? Lets find out:
"15. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3, LW: 15)I like the Marcell Dareus acquisition. The Jags gave up a conditional sixth-round pick this year, which is very little for a former All-Pro who was once the third pick of the draft behind Cam Newton and Von Miller. He was clearly out of the Bills’ future plans, but he could make the Jaguars’ defensive line even nastier, and it was already very good without him."
"12. JaguarsThey traded to get defensive tackle Marcell Dareus from the Bills during the bye. It’s obvious they think they can make a playoff push."
"10. Jacksonville JaguarsTwo teams have already topped their respective win totals from last season: the much-ballyhooed Rams and these here Jaguars. The differences in Jacksonville, year over year, are staggering. The Jags are scoring 6.2 more points per game, while allowing 9.3 less. Their turnover diff has gone from minus-16 to plus-8. And the sack differential is ginormous: minus-1 to plus-22. I mean, this is like “The Force Awakens” compared to “Rogue One” right here."
"14. Jacksonville Jaguars2017 record: 4-3Week 8 ranking: No. 13The defense and the running game have been great for the Jaguars, but the elephant in the room has been the play of Blake Bortles. He has a Total QBR below 50, and he’s one of four qualified quarterbacks completing fewer than 60 percent of his passes."
I didn’t expect the Jaguars to skyrocket up the power rankings during their bye week, but it’s clear the Jaguars are set up to become a top 5 team in these lists.
The Jaguars currently sit at 4-3, but their upcoming schedule is arguably the easiest in the NFL. Of their remaining games, the only ones that should legitimately challenge the Jaguars are against the Seattle Seahawks, the Houston Texans, and (maybe) the Tennessee Titans.
We could be sitting here in 6 or so weeks and talking about whether or not the Jaguars could secure a bye week in the playoffs.
Or we could be sitting here talking about how much we need a quarterback in next year’s draft.
Let’s hope for the former.