NFL Power Rankings: The Jaguars are on the move
In the most recent NFL Power Rankings by FanSided.com’s Russell Baxter, the Jacksonville Jaguars make a modest upward move.
Even with the win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars still have some moving to do before they can be considered a playoff threat this season.
A 1-2 record with the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on the road the next two weeks could help determine if this team will climb the NFL Power Rankings at FanSided.com, or will they sink into an abyss because rookie Gardner Minshew comes back down to earth after only two games as an NFL starter under his belt.
The reality of all of this is we really don’t know what the Jaguars are yet on offense while the defense looks like it wants to stand next to the 2017 version of “Sacksonville” which dominated teams with a bullying style that reminded many of the former Seattle Seahawks version of the “Legion of Boom.”
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The Jaguars defense may not be as good in terms of star players as it was two seasons ago, but the effort the team put in last Thursday night showed this could be a special season once again down in DUUUVAL.
It also allowed the team to rise ever so slightly in Russell Baxter’s latest weekly power rankings. Jacksonville jumped from 30th to 27th in this installment. The defense gets plenty of praise.
"“Off to a 0-2 start for the second time in four years, the Jaguars hosted the rival Titans and were looking to end a four-game losing streak in the setting which saw the team outscored a combined 91-41 in the process,” Baxter writes.“But Doug Marrone’s club would jump out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead thanks to a pair of touchdown pass from rookie Gardner Minshew, the first set up by a muffed punt. The Jacksonville pass rush was relentless, dropping Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota nine times, seven of those by veteran Calais Campbell (3), third-year pro Dawuane Smoot (2) and rookie Josh Allen (2). During the team’s 0-2 start, the Jaguars had zero takeaways and sacks.”"
If the defense plays like this on the road, and the offense can score just enough points to hold off their next two opponents, then coming home in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints could be a litmus test for this franchise. The Jaguars are listed as an underdog traveling to Mile High Stadium. Even if they win this week to even their record at 2-2, the team figures to be an underdog again in Charlotte.
That’s fine. It’s a role this team played and well in 2017 – with many of the national media doubting their ability to win the AFC South. Playing with a chip on their shoulder isn’t a bad thing for the Jaguars, who are still trying to find an offensive identity.
As Baxter points out, it will be the defense that sets the tone this week after three extra days to prepare for the Broncos.
"“After giving up 40 points in their Week 1 home loss to the Chiefs, the Jaguars’ defense has settled in and allowed a combined 20 points in a five-day span in the split with the Texans and Titans,” he adds. “And ending the club’s recent losing ways to Tennessee was big for Marrone’s team, which suddenly looks like a more confident squad.”"