No. 1 reason the Jaguars will win the AFC South in 2023: Trevor Lawrence
Teams such as the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots enjoyed stability at quarterback throughout most of the 2000s and 2010s. Meanwhile, the likes of Cody Kessler, Nick Foles, and Chad Henne started behind center for the Jags.
Sure, David Garrard had his moments and Blake Bortles was a Fantasy Football Darling in 2015. Also, Gardner Minshew provided a glimmer of hope in 2019. However, it wasn't until the Jaguars clinched the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — s/o to Adam Gase and the New York Jets for beating the Los Angeles Rams — that they were able to put a stop to the revolving door at the most important position on the football field.
From the moment Jacksonville earned the top overall selection, there was a 99.9 percent chance they were going to go with Trevor Lawrence, dubbed the most talented prospect to come out of the collegiate ranks since Andrew Luck in 2012. And to nobody's surprise, the former Clemson Tiger was the pick.
What was a bit puzzling was watching Lawrence struggle as a rookie in spite of his talent but the truth is that his supporting cast was less than stellar and Urban Meyer's incompetence derailed his growth. On the bright side, this was kind of a wake-up call for the Jaguars, who realized they needed to get their franchise quarterback weapons and a coach that actually knew what he was doing (and didn't go dancing when the team lost).
So the Jags got to work last offseason and besides hiring Doug Pederson, they got the best weapons they could get their hands on in free agency. With a better-supporting cast, Lawrence made strides early in the 2022 season but it wasn't until the second half that he really put it all together and played like a top-10 quarterback.
Heading into Year 3, Lawrence is expected to continue to get better, and if he does, he could be in talks about being a top-5 passer and the MVP conversation by the end of the year.