3 Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 opponents that improved immensely in free agency

Jacksonville Jaguars fans watch the first quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.
Jacksonville Jaguars fans watch the first quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. / Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com,
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The Jacksonville Jaguars were dealing with a cap crunch in free agency, so they couldn't make as many splash signings as they would have probably wanted. Nevertheless, they're in a favorable position to return to the playoffs and win the AFC South for the second straight year.

Trevor Lawrence showed in 2022 that he can help the Jags win games. Similarly, head coach Doug Pederson did an outstanding job in his first season with the team, leading them to their first winning record since 2017. Having said that, Jacksonville can't rest on their laurels if they want to make a deep playoff run in 2023.

After all, many of the Jaguars' 2023 opponents were busy in free agency, and games that looked relatively easy at the time look considerably tougher now. In particular, these three clubs on the Jags' schedule got better in free agency.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 opponent that got better: Kansas City Chiefs

Just like the Jaguars, the Kansas City Chiefs didn't have to go into a spending spree in free agency. The difference is that the Chiefs won Super Bowl 57 while Jacksonville is coming off their first playoff appearance in five years.

Although Kansas City's inclusion on this list might seem odd, they got better by not re-signing left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Basically, the addition-by-subtraction principle. Nobody will doubt Brown's talent but he might have overestimated his market value, which is why the Chiefs let him walk in free agency and poached right tackle Jawaan Taylor from the Jaguars.

Taylor is expected to switch sides in Kansas City and if he succeeds, the Chiefs will have saved money by not keeping Brown. On top of that, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster joined the New England Patriots, but that should pave the way for 2022 second-round pick Skyy Moore, who is expected to have a bigger role on offense. The fact that Patrick Mahomes is the kind of quarterback that elevates everyone around him shouldn't hurt either.