Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars have put together a solid team and have the right head coach and quarterback in Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence, there’s still plenty of skepticism surrounding them ahead of the 2022 season. In particular, David Kenyon of Bleacher Report isn’t sold on the Jags and believes they will finish third in the AFC South.
Kenyon recently shared his win-loss predictions for all 32 NFL teams for this upcoming season and he thinks Jacksonville will win just five games while he expects the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans to win 10 and nine, respectively. Kenyon likes many of the moves the Jags made, including getting rid of Urban Meyer but believes that 2022 is “all about laying a stable foundation” for the Jags.
"Most importantly, the Jaguars rapidly abandoned the ill-fated Urban Meyer hire. They brought in Doug Pederson, a longtime NFL coach with a penchant for crafting well-run offenses. Wouldn’t that be a nice change for Trevor Lawrence in Year 2? Between the return of running back Travis Etienne Jr. — who missed 2021 with a Lisfranc injury — a few rookies and a good (very expensive9 free-agency haul, the personnel is undoubtedly better this season."
Kenyon says that the playoffs are “just a dream” for the Jaguars but notes that at least they “won’t be putting on a masterclass in dysfunction this fall”, which he sees as a step in the right direction.
The Jaguars have the potential to win more than 5 games in 2022
In Kenyon’s defense, it seems like his five-win prediction for the Jags has more to do with him being higher on the Titans and the Colts rather than Jacksonville not improving in the offseason. However, there are many analysts that are slowly jumping into the Jaguars’ bandwagon ahead of the regular season. The most recent one might be Lindsey Ok, who expects them to win the AFC South in 2022.
Ok isn’t the only analyst that sees the Jaguars going from last place in the division to first. Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus also thinks they have a legitimate shot. In his case, he believes that the relative weakness of the division makes it possible.
Jim Trotter of NFL Media was also one of the first ones to get behind the Jaguars and said back in July that they would tally eight victories this year. That won’t probably be enough to win the AFC South but it’s higher than Kenyon’s win total. Moreover, Trotter also thinks Jacksonville will become the team nobody wants to play in December.
Of course, many things have to go right for the Jaguars to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Trevor Lawrence must make a huge leap, outside linebacker Josh Allen must bounce back from a relatively down year and most of their offseason acquisitions must pan out. That’s plenty of boxes to check off. Is it doable? Certainly, but you might want to wait a bit before commissioning your Jaguars 2022 division champion cakes.
After all, Jacksonville’s starting offense showed flashes of what they’re capable of doing in the preseason. However, they have yet to play a game that matters, so it’s hard to tell how much they’ve improved in relation to their division foes. Fortunately, Week 1 is less than 10 days away, and they will have a chance to make a statement against the Washinton Commanders in Week 1.