The Jacksonville Jaguars are a young promising team, and that might have a legitimate shot to go from last to first in the AFC South in 2022. However, they showed they still have plenty of work to do during their 28-22 loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 1. The Jags did some things well but they also made several mistakes, which is why it’s not surprising to see them land near the cellar of most power ranking following the season opener.
The Bleacher Report staff ranked Jacksonville 31st following their underwhelming loss to the Commanders, noting that they showed progress but also “how far they still have to go“. B/R highlighted Jacksonville’s offensive productivity and the impact their newcomers had. On the other hand, they point out that the Jaguars gave up nearly 400 total yards and more than seven yards per pass attempt.
"The Jaguars amassed more than 380 caries of total offense against the Commanders. They averaged almost seven yards per carry, and they had a lead well into the fourth quarter. New No. 1 receiver Christian Kirk eclipsed 100 receiving yards, and rookie No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker logged a sack and an interception. But the Jaguars also gave up 390 total yards, allowed more than seven yards per pass attempt, and couldn’t and on to that lead."
Dan Hanzus of NFL Media also had the Jags at No. 31 and echoed B/R’s assessment.
"The Jaguars looked like a more professional operation than the one that debuted with Urban Meyer last year (low bar alert!), but Sunday was a reminder the team has to learn how to win."
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports wasn’t as harsh as Hanzus or B/R but still ranked Jacksonville 28th, which isn’t much of an improvement.
The Jaguars have to put it all together for Week 2 vs. the Colts
It’s hard to disagree with any of the power rankings. All things considered, they all bring up fair points. In fact, they might have left a few out, such as the Jags’ issues in pass protection, especially in the interior offensive line. Left guard Ben Bartch and center Luke Fortner earned Pro Football Focus’ overall grades of 48.8 and 44.2, respectively. Moreover, they gave up a combined eight total pressures. Having better protection up front would have helped Trevor Lawrence put up better numbers.
The Jaguars’ also had several chances to score when they got to the Commanders’ red zone in the second quarter but came out empty-handed. Lastly, with a chance to win the game, Lawrence threw an interception, effectively sealing their fate.
Of course, there were also signs of encouragement. The Jags moved the ball effectively and had the lead at some point in the game. Also, their running game was in full gear and the defense forced three turnovers, so it might be a bit premature to stick a fork on them.
Having said that, the Jaguars had better fix all the issues they experienced against the Commanders. No AFC South team won in the season opener, so they have a chance to make up ground in the upcoming weeks.