Jacksonville Jaguars named potential suprise contender in 2022

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Doug Pederson, VP of player health and performance Jeff Ferguson and Jaguars GM Trent Baalke at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars HC Doug Pederson, VP of player health and performance Jeff Ferguson and Jaguars GM Trent Baalke at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

When you hear talking heads discuss the NFL teams with the best chance to make the Super Bowl in 2022, the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t come often. However, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the Jags could go from one of the worst clubs in the league to compete on Championship Sunday.

Knox recently drew up a list of teams that could be the 2022 version of last year’s Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville made the cut. The other four were the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Jets. Knox says that just like Cincy, the Jaguars have a young quarterback “with generational potential“. However, Trevor Lawrence isn’t the sole reason he thinks Jacksonville could make a huge leap this upcoming season.

"Jacksonville has built a much more complete team compared to a year ago. With competent guidance from the coaching staff, the Jaguars should expect better results. It only helps that they have the six-easiest (tied) strength of schedule in the NFL this season. If Lawrence can become the quarterback he was expected to be coming out of Clemson, Jacksonville could be primed to contend far beyond this season."

Last year, not many analysts predicted the Bengals would make the Super Bowl. After all, Joe Burrow was coming off a season-ending injury. Even after they qualified for the playoffs, other teams such as the Las Vegas Raiders, the Tennesse Titans, or the Kansas City Chiefs looked like better bets to play in the championship game but Cincinnati beat them all and came very close to beating the Los Angeles Rams.

The Jaguars must set realistic expectations for the 2022 season

Everyone would like to play in the Super Bowl every year but only two teams ultimately get the chance. Having a talented squad surely increases their chances but there’s also an element of luck involved. Last season, the Bills lost the overtime coin toss to the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs and never touched the ball. Had they won it, they might have advanced to the AFC Championship game.

The Jaguars have definitely taken several positive steps in the right direction and head coach Doug Pederson will have them compete every Sunday. Nevertheless, a playoff berth, let alone a trip to the Super Bowl, doesn’t look like a realistic expectation in 2022. In fact, Pederson himself said when he got the job that this won’t be “an overnight fix“.

The consensus believes Jacksonville will win seven, maybe eight, games this season, and that’s a reasonable amount. Anything beyond that will be a bonus. This isn’t to say the Jag won’t definitely make the playoffs but their chances of doing so are considerably lower than those of the Chiefs, the Rams, or the Bills.

The Jaguars have improved over the last few months and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them pull off a few upsets in 2022. However, playoff talk might need to wait at least one more year.

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