Jaguars may improve in 2022 but not enough to make the playoffs
Every NFL team is currently 0-0 and has a chance to make the playoffs in 2022, in theory at least. In practice, there are several clubs that didn’t do nearly enough in the offseason to improve and will once again remain at the bottom of the league. Fortunately, the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t fall into this category, as they made several upgrades in free agency and the draft. Then again, it might not be nearly enough to qualify for the postseason in 2022.
Adam Schein of NFL Media recently ranked the teams most likely to end their playoff drought in 2022 and Jacksonville at No. 4, below the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins, and the Los Angeles Chargers. Schein argues that there’s a steep dropoff from the Broncos to Jacksonville. On the other hand, he thinks the Jaguars have all the right pieces to improve, including head coach Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence.
"Doug Pederson is the perfect coach to pick up the pieces in Duval County, as a fountain of positivity who just so happens to have an impressive track record of QB development. That last bit is quite crucial to these Jags, with Trevor Lawrence coming off a disappointing rookie season. Part of that can obviously be attributed to the horrendous work environment under Meyer, but the rookie still has a ways to go in order to live up to this “generational talent” billing. Pederson can help there. So can the influx of free-agent signings. Were some of them — SEE Christian Kirk — overpaid? Sure. But they still represent upgrades to this roster — upgrades that give the 22-year-old signal-caller more of a chance…"
Schein goes on to say that the Jags might have a hard time going from 3-14 to the postseason but rightfully points out that teams in a similar position have previously pulled off the feat. One of the most recent examples is the Cincinnati Bengals, who finished 4-11 in 2020 but reached the Super Bowl last season.
The Jaguars made many moves but not enough to make the playoffs
Every NFL team should aim at winning the Super Bowl every year but that’s not feasible. Instead, clubs that are in perennial contention need to make sure they don’t take a step back while those that want a shot must make enough upgrades throughout the offseason. The Jaguars are currently sitting on a four-year playoff drought and have their work cut out to make the playoffs.
The Jags have sent the last two offseasons trying to replenish a roster devoid of talent. However, they managed to win just three games last year in spite of the free agency additions they made. Urban Meyer might have not known what he was doing with the talent he had and there’s a reason to think that Doug Pederson will get the most out of the roster. So far, the head coach had done a good job of rebuilding the bridges his predecessor burned and the Jaguars may be able to double their win totals from 2021.
Having said that, it’s hard to envision the Jags winning more than eight games, let alone making the playoffs in 2022. It’s true that Jacksonville made several upgrades to their roster but they weren’t the only team that got better. In particular, the AFC West is stacked with talent and Jacksonville has games scheduled against its teams this upcoming season. Similarly, the Jaguars need to start division matchups. They must first show they can compete in the AFC South before they set their sights on a playoff berth.
The Jaguars have had a hectic offseason and are in good shape ahead of the 2022 season. However, they won’t probably have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs until next year.