Jacksonville Jaguars named as ‘biggest threat’ to New England Patriots in the AFC


A trip to the AFC championship game last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars continues to not be looked at as a fluke.

In 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the league with a rapid change of fortune. After nine consecutive seasons without a winning season, the Jaguars catapulted all the way to a division title, and were a quarter away from an appearance in the Super Bowl.

While it was a quick and unexpected rise to fame, the consensus this offseason continues to be that it was not just a stroke of luck for Jacksonville, and that the team is here to stay for next season.

On ‘Good Morning Football’, NFL Network’s morning talk and highlight show, the question was asked to the crew of which team is the biggest threat to the defending conference champion New England Patriots in the AFC. While Reggie Bush went with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kyle Brandt perhaps surprisingly chose the Los Angeles Chargers, Peter Schrager says the Patriots’ biggest threat is the Jaguars.

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Pittsburgh is always considered a threat, and the Chargers have seemingly been a trendy ‘surprise’ team pick in recent years. But Jacksonville took down the Chargers in 2017, and I don’t think anyone has forgotten that the Jaguars disposed of the Steelers twice at Heinz Field last year, including in the divisional round of the playoffs, when a Patriots vs. Steelers title game was deemed by most as a certainty.

Schrager starts his analysis by stating just how much Jacksonville had New England on the ropes in the fourth quarter, and while the team could not pull out the win, showed it has the formula to beat the hierarchy. Within the roster for next season, Schrager points out that nearly the entire core defense is still intact for 2018, and key additions on offense were made, calling wide receiver Donte Moncrief a “nice” signing. Schrager also thinks that quarterback Blake Bortles will play with more confidence next season with the new contract bestowed upon him this offseason.

The Jacksonville Jaguars soared to unprecedented prosperity in the 2017 season. But don’t expect the success to flame out quickly, as the team is built to continue to contend with the best the league has to offer. 2018 could see the Jaguars take another step forward to the NFL’s grandest stage, the Super Bowl.