Jacksonville Jaguars finish third in NFL end of season power rankings

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Aaron Colvin /

The Jacksonville Jaguars were mere minutes from playing the Super Bowl, enough for Elliot Harrison of NFL.com to rank them 3rd in his final power rankings.

The NFL season came to a dramatic close last Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles miraculously won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles. As eminently hateable as the New England Patriots are, they play in some damn entertaining Super Bowls.

Still, it’s hard not to feel that it was the Jaguars who should have been there competing for the world championship.

It’s time to move on, but we still need to take one look back at the season and figure out where everyone but the Eagles are ranked relative to one another.

Elliot Harrison over at NFL.com put together his final power rankings of the 2017-18 season and he gave the Jaguars quite a bit of respect.

"3.  JAGUARS (12-7)"

"Too high for the Jags? False. They have the draft capital and some cap room to rectify the one spot on the team that you were thinking of eight seconds ago when you read the ranking. Their defense is chalk-full o’ talent, from stem to stern. As far as free agency goes, wide receiver is the group that presents the most concern. Both Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are set to hit the open market. Of course, who’s throwing them the ball, or potentially throwing them the ball? That’s the question everyone is underlining this offseason. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Jacksonville intends to head into the 2018 with Blake Bortles as the starter — and that this was the plan regardless of the wrist surgery that could lock in his 2018 contract (which is guaranteed for injury). Alex Smith would have been a nice fit, as many in the Twitterverse pointed out. Obviously that’s not happening. Soon-to-be former Redskins starter Kirk Cousins would be a huge upgrade. Money would be an issue there. So, Bortles?"

Naturally, Harrison put the Eagles at number one and the Patriots at number two, but he had free reign to do whatever he wanted with the following 30 slots. It’s interesting he kept the Jaguars at three despite his own reservations about Blake Bortles and the quarterback situation in general.

As Harrison notes, the Jaguars have arguably one of the most talented rosters in the league at this point and they aren’t slated to lose anyone of huge importance. Yes, Allen Robinson is a free agent but the Jaguars will almost assuredly bring him back on a new contract or the franchise tag.

The wild card is of course the quarterback situation, but the Jaguars already showed this season that they can be a legitimate contender with Bortles at the helm. Heck, the Eagles just showed you can win a Super Bowl with a talented castoff if you have good coaching around him.

If Bortles continues to improve, even incrementally, the Jaguars will have just as a good a shot as anyone to win it all in 2018.