The Jacksonville Jaguars are 6-2 and riding a five-winning streak heading into their BYE. Moreover, they remain undefeated on the road in 2023, so it's not particularly controversial to say they're one of the top teams in the NFL. But despite their success this season, Chris Broussard of FS1 isn't just ready to accept that the Jags are good.
Broussard and co-host Nick Wright talked about Jacksonville following their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wright has been on their bandwagon for a while but Broussard remains skeptical and argues that they're not as good as their record suggests.
"I'm not just gonna sit here and tell you who's better based on their record," Chris Broussard told Nick Wright and Kevin Wildes. "I'm gonna do some analysis. They are pretenders. Alright, they'll make the playoffs, they will win the AFC South."
"Kansas City is obviously better than them. Cincinnati is better than them now that Joe Burrow is Joe Burrow. Baltimore is better than them. I will even take Miami over them. They are solid. They are middling when it comes to the top teams because here's the deal, defense, 24th in total defense," Broussard says.
It's true that the Jaguars are 24th in yards surrendered but touchdowns allowed are a better indicator of a defense's performance. They rank 10th in the league in that department. After all, a team can gain lots of yards and still punt, settle for a field goal, or even worse, turn the ball over. It's also worth noting that Jacksonville excels at taking away the run. Without other options, the offense is forced to throw the ball, so the final tally of yards they give up will be skewed.
Furthermore, playing in a relatively weak AFC South shouldn't diminish the Jaguars' accomplishments in 2023. That would be like saying that all the Super Bowls the New England Patriots won in the 2000s and 2010 count less because the AFC East was pretty bad in that span. Here's the whole clip. You be the judge but he doesn't seem to have any strong, in-depth arguments that back up his opinion.
Chris Broussard, the Jacksonville Jaguars are more than solid
Although Chris Broussard is having a hard time accepting that Jacksonville is actually good in 2023, other analysts have come to accept that they're among the top 5, even 3 teams. Just recently, Mike Florio placed them at No. 2 in his NFL Power Ranking.
Florio isn't an outlier though. Other talking heads have them in the top 5, so it looks like Broussard is stubbornly latching onto his offseason takes and isn't ready to let go.
There's no doubt the Kansas City Chiefs remain the crème de la créme in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals are also pretty good. Having said that, the Jaguars should be in the conversation on the best teams in the league.
You could make the case that they lost to the Chiefs in Week 2 but they've gotten much better since then. Meanwhile, Kansas City just lost to the lowly Denver Broncos. This isn't to say that they're no longer the team to beat but it shows they could lose to Jacksonville in a potential rematch later in the playoffs.
In the end, you are what your record says you are and the Jaguars' 6-2 record says they're tied with the Chiefs for the best record in the NFL right now, even if Chris Broussard doesn't want to accept it.