After another dominant win, the Jacksonville Jaguars look like mainstays in the top ten of most power rankings around the web.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are here to stay after a resounding win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Rightfully so, analysts have been hesitant to buy into the Jaguars despite the utter dominance of their defense.
One reason – Blake Bortles.
After a rough 2016 campaign, everyone piled on the young quarterback and ridiculed the franchise for picking up the former first round pick’s fifth year option.
Bortles went out on Sunday and put up another solid performance. It was another step in the right direction and he’s putting up quite the argument that he’s not only not awful, but he’s a functional NFL quarterback.
The Jaguars schedule is enviable going forward so the sky’s the limit for a squad that looks like it’s hitting it’s stride.
So where does that leave them in the power rankings? Lets find out:
"13. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3, LW: 15)The Jaguars are allowing 156.4 passing yards per game. No other team has allowed fewer than 180 per game. This defense is special and while there are offensive issues, they could create some real problem for a playoff opponent. This is the best team in the division and also had the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL heading into Week 9, according to Football Outsiders."
"11. JaguarsThey are becoming one of the league’s tougher teams. That defense is impressive, but the improved play of Blake Bortles might be the reason they make the playoffs."
"7. Jacksonville JaguarsWhen Jalen Ramsey wasn’t brawling, he and his secondary ‘mates were shutting down the Bengals’ passing game. This was most relevant on third down, when Cincy couldn’t buy a conversion, going 1 for 8 in the contest. That one first down came on a meaningless third-and-3 in the first quarter that led to a Kevin Huber punt. By the way, the run defense stymied the Bengals over and over, limiting Cincinnati to 29 yards on 17 carries. Which means no one is asking Blake Bortles to win games right now. Found a video on the downlow of what Ramsey spouted off to make A.J. Green so mad. Take a look."
"10. Jacksonville Jaguars2017 record: 5-3Week 9 ranking: No. 14Preseason ranking: 28. The Jaguars have been one of the biggest risers in our rankings, and it’s (mostly) thanks to defense, which ranks first in points allowed per game (14.6), Total QBR (33), sacks (35) and TD-INT ratio (0.4)."
After another one-sided win (with Leonard Fournette out for a second straight week), it’s hard to keep the Jaguars out of the top 10, let alone the the top 12.
I’m shocked a bit by Schwab’s ranking of 13, considering he has some hugely disappointing teams in front of the Jaguars (namely the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins.
Unsurprisngly, the only person above who even mentioned Blake Bortles in a positive light was Pete Prisco.
Yes, the defense is driving this team right now but it can’t be understated how much Bortles has exceeded expectations. The bar was low entering the season and he’s cleared it by strides. The last two weeks were huge tests for him since the offense couldn’t rely on Fournette and he answered the bell big time.
If Bortles keeps this up, the Jaguars will firmly in the top ten for the rest of the year.