What surprises do the Jacksonville Jaguars have for the AFC South and the rest of the NFL?
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is happy for Myles Jack.
After the announcement that the fourth-year linebacker received a contract extension that runs through the 2023 season, the head coach told the media he was happy for a player who earned the deal and is part of the Jaguars future.
"“I’m happy for all players who are able to go out and perform well and earn their contract,” he said."
The Jaguars are going to need Jack and the defense this season, potentially early and often. The start of their schedule is brutal with three games in 11 days. The NFL scheduling committee did the team no favors. Now, with four days until the start of their season, Jacksonville must go out there and try to replicate the 2017 season and more.
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It can be done, but it will not be easy. Jack needs to play like he is a Pro Bowl performer and the quarterback of this defense.
Jack isn’t the only player who must come up big early in the season. Here are three early predictions for this team heading into Week 1.
The Jaguars win Week 2 and 3 – If the Jaguars are going to make a splash the season, they will have to win at least four of their division games. That means the contests in Week 2 against Houston and the game four days later against Tennessee are crucial “must-win” games.
The Jaguars won a single division game in 2018, beating Indianapolis 6-0 at home late in the season. They dropped in week three game of the season at home to Tennessee, 9-6 and a 29-26 game to Indianapolis after the bye week. They were microcosms of what went wrong for this franchise.
I expect a better passing game and a more balanced game plan we hope this team in what should be the best division in the NFL this year.
Josh Allen becomes a sack machine – This isn’t as much of a surprise as it is that it’s happening so quickly for Josh Allen.
The Jaguars use more 3-4 defensive looks, allowing the rookie from Kentucky to play standing up to utilize more of his speed. The thought all along has been to use him as a rush end, but with his size and athleticism, the team should take advantage of mismatch situations when they can.
The third-year pro caught 66 passes for 717 yards and five touchdowns last year in a fractured offense. We have said it before, wondering what kind of impact he would have on a team with a halfway-decent passing game.
This year, Westbrook is once again the featured target, hauling in four straight 100-yard games and becomes a more polished threat in the passing game. For the season, I predict Westbrook will catch 90 passes for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.