Jacksonville Jaguars named as one of seven teams with biggest Super Bowl window

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Telvin Smith /

After falling just short of the big game in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars are considered among elite company when it comes to Super Bowl potential for the years to come.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a meteoric rise to prominence in the 2017 season, going from worst to first in the AFC South, and fighting all the way to an appearance in the AFC Championship game.

But while the season came as surprise to many and most, the success of Jacksonville’s playoff run is not being viewed as a fluke, but instead the first steps towards years of competing at the highest level in the league.

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Longtime NFL analyst Gil Brandt, currently of NFL.com, comprised a list of the seven teams with the biggest Super Bowl windows for the foreseeable future. The Jaguars come in at number five on the list.

It’s no surprise Brandt points out the stout defense first, particularly Jacksonville’s two lockdown corners, but also gives credit to the offense and the ability to move the ball behind the legs of Leonard Fournette:

"This is a young team with a very good defense anchored by studs like Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The offense, meanwhile, can definitely move the ball on the ground behind Leonard Fournette."

While Brandt goes on to suggest the Jaguars would rank higher on the list if not for the uncertainty of Blake Bortles, he does also note that Bortles is criticized too much, and is better than the credit he is given:

"The Jaguars would rank higher if we knew how well Blake Bortles — whom the team is planning to stick with at quarterback for 2018, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport — was going to play. Bortles was dire at times in 2017, but he got better as the season went along and, I think, is ultimately criticized too much. He’s better than the conventional wisdom would have it, and having a fundamentally sound assistant like offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in his ear will only help Bortles continue to improve."

The whole “Jaguars are a good team, but may be weighed down by Blake Bortles” was the go-to take for many last year, and will be a constant theme again this offseason as long as Bortles is the quarterback, whether fair or unfair.

Despite that narrative, however, Jacksonville is getting recognized for being a team with a legitimate chance to get to the Super Bowl within the next few years, and for good reason. The team is young, the core players of the elite defense are locked-up under contract, and the offense will only get better with Fournette gaining more experience under his belt, and with the impending return of number one receiver Allen Robinson from injury.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are stacked, and well-positioned to continue to compete for a Super Bowl title, both in 2018 and the seasons that follow.