The Jacksonville Jaguars can be a dangerous team in January

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Marcell Dareus /

Over the past decade, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been an afterthought by the time January rolls around – that won’t be the case this season.

It’s been a rough few years for fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The last 10 years or so have followed a pretty simple formula:

  1. Get excited during the offseason about certain acquisitions and believe the team is good.
  2. Watch the seasons start and lose all hope by October that the Jaguars can make the playoffs.
  3. Look towards the next draft class.

2017 is a dramatically different season, as the Jaguars are tied for the lead in the AFC South in November and are the prohibitive favorites to win the division.

The Jaguars are good enough to make the playoffs, that much is clear. The real question now is if the Jaguars can actually make a big splash if they make the postseason.

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Jeffri Chadiha over at labeled the Jaguars as the ‘surprise AFC team that is going to be dangerous come January’:

"The Bills have been fun to watch, but how can you bet against Jacksonville? The Jaguars opened this season with an eye-opening thumping of the Texans. They increased their credibility by whipping the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 5. They also close the season with six of their last eight games coming against teams that don’t have winning records right now. That tells this writer that Jacksonville is going to have some major momentum when the postseason arrives. The Jaguars also are good enough to host a home game, especially since the AFC South title might be decided in their season finale at Tennessee. The scariest thing about the Jaguars is that they have exactly what an upstart team needs to win in the playoffs. They’ve built a powerful running game behind rookie Leonard Fournette. Their aggressive defense leads the league in sacks and points allowed. Oh, and the aforementioned win over the Steelers also provided the Jaguars with plenty of confidence that will be useful down the road. So people can make all the jokes about quarterback Blake Bortles that they want. The bottom line is that this team is for real and doesn’t need a dynamic signal caller to be a significant threat."

The Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten the job done on offense in different ways this season and that bodes well for a postseason run. Yes, they’ve emphasized running the ball with Leonard Fournette, but they’ve also thrived without him for two straight games.

T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory have proven themselves as effective backups in the backfield, and Blake Bortles is showing that he can be the signal caller on a playoff-level team.

But let’s just say it – the Jacksonville Jaguars have a Super Bowl winning defense.

They have the pass rushers (Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler Jr.), the speedy linebackers (Telvin Smith, Myles Jack), and the best secondary in the league (led by Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye).

The win against the Steelers on the road was a message to the league that on any given day, the Jaguars can beat anyone.

The Jacksonville defense is as good as any in the league and maybe the best we’ve seen in several years.

The Jaguars have the horses to make a run in the playoffs – they just need to get there.