Will the Jacksonville Jaguars take what the national media is predicting for this football team and use it as motivation to prove everyone wrong?
After reading over some of the new power polls that have been released this past week, the Jacksonville Jaguars might want to take solace in the fact they aren’t considered the worst team in the NFL. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t close to the bottom of the barrel.
Such is the case with the NFL Power Rankings released by USA Today’s Touchdown Wire. Doug Farrar ranks the Jaguars 29th overall, which continues the trend of analysts across the board giving the Jaguars low marks for a team that was shredded this offseason, especially on the defensive side of the football.
"“If you go back and look at the Jaguars defense that played the Patriots to a draw in the first half of the 2017 AFC Championship game, it’s both a tribute to what the franchise built to that point, and a scathing indictment of what’s happened since,” Farrar writes. “Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson… most of the big talent on that defense is gone, and the replacements haven’t quite lived up.”"
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Finding replacements who can come in and produce immediately might be a big problem for head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash, who start this season on the hot seat, hoping they both can make it through the season. If the team plummets early in 2020 both men could exit the offices of TIAA Bank Field before Thanksgiving.
The Jacksonville Jaguars still have issues to deal with prior to the start of the season, with plenty of competition on the defensive side of the ball on the defensive line and in the secondary.
And there is still a matter of an angry veteran who is praying to the football gods he does not have to line up for the Teal and Black this season.
"“Oh, and there’s the matter of edge-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, the best player left on that defense, wanting to be traded,” Farrar adds."
Despite plenty of turnover with the roster, there are still areas of encouragement on the roster. The theory of addition by subtraction is one the team’s front office hopes can work this season, even without the high-profile players who were part of the 2017 team just a few short years ago.
"“The Jaguars have a possible star quarterback in Gardner Minshew and a breakout star in receiver D.J. Chark, but the organization is now finding out that you can’t take elite talent for granted. Cornerback C.J. Henderson and EDGE defender K’Lavon Chaisson, the team’s top two draft picks, will help over time,” Farrar wrote."
Taking a team that has been physically altered, which is much younger than last season and will be given the chance to prove national pundits wrong is just half the battle for the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming season. While remaining near the bottom of power rankings has become the norm for this organization, there are a few moving parts that could help change the national perspective.
If players produce, the Jaguars sneak up of a few teams this coming season.