3 reasons to be optimistic about Jacksonville Jaguars Super Bowl chances next year

• The Jaguars didn't make the playoffs in 2023

• But they should be back in contention next year

• Here are 3 reasons for optimism ahead of the offseason

Jan 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and
Jan 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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It feels like yesterday when the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card Round of the 2022 playoffs. Trailing 27-0 at one point of the bout, the Jags managed to bounce back in what was one of the biggest comeback wins in postseason history. While they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs the following week, it looked like Jacksonville had solidified their place as one of the top teams in the NFL. Unfortunately, that's not how things went.

The Jaguars weren't able to build on their 2022 success and were eliminated from playoff contention when they fell to the Tennessee Titans in the finale. But that's the thing; the Jags weren't able to finish strong but they at one point of the season in contention for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. That doesn't happen by mistake. Instead, they couldn't mask their weaknesses in losses to teams like the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cleveland Browns in the second half of the season.

But as bad as those losses were, the Jaguars didn't stop being good. Simply, the good was overshadowed by their inability to hold on to their control of the divison. It's reasonable to think that if Jacksonville makes the right moves to restock their roster and address positions of need, they should be back in contention in 2024. It helps that they have these three things going in their favor.

3. The Jaguars have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence

Although football is a team sport, quarterback is the position that has the most influence on the outcome of the game. And the Jaguars have a pretty good one in Trevor Lawrence. It's easy to forget it but he was seen as a top 5 passer in the league as recently as last summer. Sure, he's coming off a down season — when compared to the year prior — but factors outside his control played a role in his regression.

Besides playing behind a porous offensive line, Lawrence dealt with a myriad of ailments in 2023. Still, he found a way to play and ended up missing just one game. While he deserves credit for his toughness, his play was clearly hampered, especially in the second half of the season. It didn't help that the running game was pretty much nonexistent. That said, Lawrence was the least of the team's concerns on offense. Heck, you could even say he gave them a chance to win week in and week out.

If the Jaguars can bolster the offensive trenches, and get the running game going again, a healthy Lawrence should lead them to a deep playoff run in 2024.