Jaguars getting some love from national football writer
By David Levin
According to Mike Renner of the Washington Post, the Jacksonville Jaguars could be a sleeper pick this season.
If you want to take a look at teams that could surprise the NFL this coming season, ask Mike Renner of The Washington Post who he thinks will be one of the teams to rise from the ashes of a dreadful 2018 campaign. You guessed it, he picked the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He also threw some love over to the Jaguars brothers in the NFC, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as another team that could surprise the football world.
Renner picks the Jaguars knowing full well the new quarterback in town, Nick Foles, could be the key to a potential playoff run and beyond. As someone familiar with Foles from is time with the Philadelphia Eagles, a division rival of the Washington Redskins, he has a leg up on why he is qualified to make this choice.
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"“It cannot be understated how crucial a change at quarterback can be. Although Nick Foles isn’t likely to maintain his form from the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl run a couple of years ago, he’s an upgrade from Jacksonville’s QBs from last season,” he writes. “The Jags quarterback group combined for a 60.9 passing grade, on Pro Football Focus’ 0-to-100 scale – the seventh-worst team passing grade in the NFL.”"
Forget about metrics and statistics to prove the obvious, just watching the play under center last season was enough to tell you part of the story of a team that looked the part of Super Bowl contender after four weeks into the 2018 season, to falling apart at the seams because of a multitude of reasons.
Foles ability to complete the short pass and to manage a game from the huddle are two things the Jaguars should benefit from this coming season. Fans cannot expect Foles to display his Super Bowl-winning skills all the time, but his presence on the field is so much better than what the team has had in recent seasons.
Also, is ability to complete the short pass in conversion situations should give the defense more of a rest this coming season.
"“While that will make things easier for the defense, Foles’ ability to avoid sacks should please Coach Doug Marrone,” Renner adds. “Foles got sacked only 22 times out of 176 pressured dropbacks – a 12.5 percent conversion rate that was second-best in the NFL and much better than Jacksonville passers Blake Bortles (18.3 percent) and Cody Kessler (a league-worst 40.3 percent).”"
The Jaguars gave up 53 sacks last season after only surrendering 24 the previous year.