Will the Jacksonville Jaguars be a better football team in 2020 or will they hover around the bottom of the NFL as CBS Sports senior football writer Pete Prisco ranks them?
Prisco, who once covered the team for the Florida Times-Union before moving on to a more prominent role nationally has ranked the team from North Florida 27th overall in his most recent post-Super Bowl power rankings.
The Jaguars are sandwiched in between the Miami Dolphins (26th) and the Cleveland Browns (28th) – two teams they face at home in 2020.
"“Even after the bad showing last season, coach Doug Marrone is back,” Prisco writes.“They have a new offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden, who has to decide on Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles as his quarterback.”"
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Gruden replaces John DeFilippo, who agreed to part ways with the team after one season in Jacksonville. The Jaguars brought in Foles to fill their vacant quarterback position after DeFilippo was hired. The two had worked together in Philadelphia in 2017, the year the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
It’s a decision that may not only affect Gruden as a play-caller on Marrone’s staff, but it could ultimately decide whether the head coach and his staff, along with general manager David Caldwell, have a job after the upcoming season.
Prisco’s rankings clearly showed the Jaguars were still the worst in the AFC South. The nearest division rival, the Indianapolis Colts, was ranked 20th overall. Playoff teams Tennessee and Houston were ranked 11th and 10th, respectively although the Titans made it to the AFC title game where they lost to Kansas City.
Gruden’s responsibilities won’t just lie in the passing game but finding a way to make the offense more competent this season. Jacksonville scored an average of 18.8 points per contest in 2019, which was 26th in the NFL last season. It was a slight increase from 2018 where the offense could only muster 15.3 points a game, which was 31st in the NFL.
Amongst the areas of concern for this team are finding a more consistent running game, which averaged 106.8 yards per game, which was 17th in the league. Running back Leonard Fournette ran for 1.152 yards over 15 games, but only scored three touchdowns.
The passing game was led by Minshew, who threw for 3,217 yards and 21 touchdowns, but as a team, Jacksonville only averaged 235 yards passing per game, good enough for 16th in the NFL.
As for Marrone, this could be his last season in Jacksonville unless there is a vast improvement in the team as a whole. Team owner Shad Khan elected to keep both Marrone and Caldwell around for this season after the organization faced plenty of turmoil on and off the field in 2019.
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See 2019 Rankings