In spite of all the moves the Jacksonville Jaguars made this offseason, analysts around the league aren’t particularly enthused. For proof, here are a few quotes, such as this one from Mike DiRocco of ESPN:
"I’d really like to give you a list of reasons why I think the Jaguars will compete for the AFC South title, but I’m not falling into that trap again… until the Jaguars show me something different on game days, I’m not expecting them to hit .500"
Also from that same article, Indianapolis Colts reporter Mike Wells expressed his doubts about the Jaguars’ upcoming season. He believes Jacksonville will surpass his win total from last season but doesn’t think they’re ready “to make the jump into the top half of the divison“.
For context, the Jags chose an EDGE player in Travon Walker in the 2022 NFL draft, passing on Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu. Both were considered exceptional offensive line talents, capable of upgrading protection for Trevor Lawrence.
This didn’t impress Mitchell Eltzholtz of Last Word on Sports, who was similarly reluctant to show much optimism for the Jaguars, citing a lack of improvement on the offensive line as the primary reason for capping the Jags’ win total at seven. Finally, Alfie Crow over at Big Cat Country was not going to allow hope to set him up for disappointment:
"As we all know, the Jaguars fell flat on their face and went 3-13. The head coach was fired near the end of the season, and that was that… Personally, I expect the Jaguars to go 6-10. That’s my personal expectation, just based on what we know and looking ahead… Now they have what they believe is their quarterback of the future heading into Year 2. He should make that next step and the team should show significant improvement in the win column. That’s the standard in an NFL rebuild."
Six wins falls in line with what Vegas is expecting for the 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars too, having set the over/under win totals at 6.5.
But, here’s the thing: those quotes above — the ones talking about tempering expectations and not falling into the eternal optimism trap laid nearly every offseason by the Jacksonville Jaguars — are all from articles written in the months between the 2016 and 2017 seasons! Got ya! The 16-game predictions (instead of 17) from Crow were a clue!