It’s been less than 24 hours since the NFL released its schedule for the 2022 regulars season and there are already countless predictions about how every team will fare. Some projections are lengthy while others don’t go into much detail. Either way, one thing that’s become evident peering through different opinions is that the consensus sees the Jacksonville Jaguars going 7-10 in Doug Pederson’s first year as the head coach.
Jordan de Lugo of Generation Jaguar, Andrew Gibson of 1010 XL, and Eugene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union expect Jacksonville to win seven games in 2022. Frenette argues that earning seven victories is doable and even identifies which matchups the Jags could/should win. This writer agrees on the number of wins and so does Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report. In particular, Moton thinks Trevor Lawrence will benefit from all the additions the front office made in the offseason.
In free agency, the Jaguars added multiple pass-catchers, including wideouts Christian Kirk and Zay Jones along with tight end Evan Engram. They’ll join Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr., the team’s most productive receivers from last season. On top of that, Lawrence will have Travis Etienne (his former Clemson teammate) back in action after the running back missed the 2021 campaign with a Lisfranc injury. Among the quarterbacks picked in the first round of the 2021 draft, Lawrence should take the biggest leap with an accomplished head coach and additional playmakers around him.
Moton also points out that defensive lineman Travon Walker doesn’t have to play like a No. 1 pick (yet) due to all the upgrades the Jags made to the defense.
The Jaguars must set realistic expectations for the 2022 season.
While seven wins don’t seem like much, keep in mind that the Jaguars have only had more than six in a season just once (2017) since 2007, so doing so in 2022 would represent progress. Their roster is arguably the best it’s been in years but most of the teams they’ll face off against this upcoming season also made improvements of their own.
Now, things can always change and the Jaguars could turn out to be better than expected. In fact, the 2022 squad resembles its 2017 counterpart in more than just one way, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them qualifying for the playoffs. Similarly, there’s potential for disaster. Although it’s highly unlikely that Jacksonville will be nearly as bad as it was during the Urban Meyer era, there’s a chance the Jaguars fail to improve and win just five or six games, which would be in line with their win totals for most of the 2010s.
Given all the moves the Jaguars have made throughout the offseason, seven wins are realistic and most observers believe that’s the way things will play out. We’ll find out in a few months how right (or wrong) we are.