Jaguars Finish 26th in Final NFL Power Rankings
With an impressive win on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars end their season 26th in FanSided.com’s NFL Power Rankings.
The Jacksonville Jaguars played the best game of the season on Sunday when they beat the Indianapolis Colts 38-20 in front of a small but loud crowd at TIAA Bank Field. For their efforts, they close the season at 26th on the most recent FanSided.com NFL Power Rankings by Russell Baxter.
It hasn’t been a roller coaster ride for the Jaguars this season in terms of where they have moved back and forth on Baxter’s list of NFL teams, but the season has not bee smooth by any imagination. Jacksonville waited until the final week of the season to show they are capable of playing three solid phases of football.
"“The Jaguars were hoping to end the season on a positive note and avoid a second consecutive 5-11 finish as they hosted the Indianapolis Colts. Things didn’t look good early as Doug Marrone’s team was down 20-13 late in the second quarter,” Baxter wrote.“But then the floodgates opened up for Gardner Minshew and company. The rookie signal-caller threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns (1 interception) on a day where the team ran for only 67 yards without Leonard Fournette. The Jacksonville defense also got into the act in terms of reaching the end zone as Calais Campbell picked up a Jacoby Brissett fumble early in the fourth quarter and took it into the end zone.”"
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Minshew showed he could be a solid NFL starter and the Jaguars found a gem in the sixth round of the April Draft. There will be a few questions the team’s front office must answer concerning quarterback play and what lies ahead for this coaching staff and roster in 2020.
The Jaguars will also have plenty of decisions to make this offseason with veteran salaries, high draft picks, the contract of Nick Foles and potentially whether they can sign defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to a new deal.
The Jaguars are aided by a fourth-place schedule for next season, but the AFC South should be a tough division again in 2020.
"“Thanks to the midseason deal that sent cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams, the Jaguars have a pair of first-round selections within the Top 20 picks. The real issue of concern is a once-talented defensive unit that has steadily declined the last few years and one that has struggled to stop the run for far too long,” Baxter added."
The loss of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with a core muscle injury early in the season helped to dent the Jaguars run defense. A high-pick in the first round could bring a run-stuffer to the mix or help solidify the linebacking unit or even another offensive lineman to help with pass blocking or to open more holes for the run game.
"“General manager David Caldwell has a decision to make regarding the quarterback situation as Foles was a disappointment in numerous aspects while still-learning Gardner Minshew provided his share of highlights,” Baxter added."