The Jacksonville Jaguars are part of the conversation again. Radio talk show hosts, TV pre game panels, and other talking heads added the Jaguars to the NFL conversation. They were a no show for many years due to poor performance but are now a team to reckon with.
The NFL season reached the mid point for the Jaguars this week. At this point in the season in prior years the Jags were relegated to the portion of the program that discussed losing teams with poor talent. Moreover the conversation no longer mentioned the present season but discussed future draft choices and possible coaching changes. However the Jaguars of 2017 are relevant and received positive press. They have real stars. They have potential all pros. Let’s look at some of the reasons.
The Jaguars are contenders not also rans
The Jags record to date is 5-3. That is five wins and three losses! The last time the Jags had five wins at the halfway point in the season was 2007. In fact the last two times since 2007 that they won five games the entire season were 2015 and 2011. The Jaguars are tied for the AFC South division lead. The last time they won the division was 1999. This Jaguar team played itself into contention at the halfway point.
There are many winners on the team
Next, the defense is first against the pass and added Marcell Dareus to improve the run defense. There were many stars. Calais Campbell played defensive line like a man possessed. The secondary, led by Jalen Ramsey, played very aggressive coverage. The linebackers played excellent pass and run defense. Telvin Smith deserved pro bowl mention last year and will no doubt be on the Pro Bowl team this year. Myles Jack showed steady improvement all season.
Finally the coaching concentrated on the strengths of the team and minimized the weaknesses. The game plans worked. The offense emphasized the run. This played to the strength of the offensive line. The defense played aggressive no holds barred football. In other words the previous passive football is gone.
The Jags played much improved football the first half of the season. Above all they must build on their success. They play the Los Angeles Chargers this week. The Chargers quarterback is one of the best. In addition they won three games in a row until they met the New England Patriots. Consequently the Jaguars must play their best football this Sunday. If they play one game at a time and keep the intensity and enthusiasm this will be The year of the Jaguar.