The Jacksonville Jaguars are far from a powerhouse and have a long way to go if they want to crawl out of the cellar of the NFL. If you wonder why they haven’t got more than a prime time game per year over the last few seasons and none on Sunday or Monday Night in more than 10 years, a look at their dreadful overall record in that span should suffice.
On the bright side, the Jags have undergone a makeover in the offseason and should be significantly better than they were the past two years. In particular, these four outstanding qualities should help them win a few more games in 2022.
1. The Jaguars have a dynamic running back room.
Running back James Robinson is currently recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered late in the 2021 season while Travis Etienne is close to returning from the Lisfranc injury he sustained in last year’s preseason.
It may take Robinson a while to make his 2022 debut but Etienne should have no restrictions in offseason activities. Once the former returns to the football field, the Jags will potentially have one of the most dynamic running back tandems in the NFL. Etienne should get a heavy workload early in the season and has a realistic shot at totaling more than 1,1000 yards from scrimmage.
The coaching staff doesn’t have to rush Robinson due to the presence of rookie Snoop Conner and Ryquell Armstead. And once he’s back in the fold, the Jaguars will have a pretty talented running back room.
2. The Jaguars have a stout front seven ahead of the 2022 season.
The Jaguars made several important additions to their defensive front last season. They signed Roy Robertson-Harris in free agency and traded for Malcom Brown. This year, the team’s brass kept fortifying the unit, signing Folorunso Fatukasi and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun in free agency. Jacksonville wasn’t done upgrading their front seven and drafted edge Travon Walker, and linebackers Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma. Moreover, Jacksonville re-signed defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, who became a key cog as the season progressed.
The Jaguars’ front seven showed progress under former defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, posting 32 sacks — 12 more than in 2020 and limited opposing teams to 100 rushing yards or fewer in five of their first eight games of the 2021 season. However, they ranked 28th in points allowed and were 32nd in takeaways with just nine.
This offseason, the Jags moved on from Cullen and brought Mike Caldwell to take his place. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebackers coach will be tasked with using all the talent he has at hand to generate more big plays and stop opponents from running the ball at ease. With Myles Jack and Damien Wilson no longer on the team, there could be up to four new starters in Jacksonville’s front seven.
An added benefit of all the additions the Jaguars made to their defense this offseason is that outside linebacker Josh Allen should have some pressure taken off his shoulders as the lone source of pass rush. Teams won’t be able to zero in on Allen anymore and he wil be able to make more plays.