The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost two straight games, one of them to the previously winless Houston Texans. Not surprisingly, you won't find them in the top 15 of most NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 4.
Eric Edholm of NFL Media was somewhat generous and only dropped the Jags four stops. However, he didn't hold back criticism, noting that their offensive performance is inexcusable with all the weapons they have. Similarly, he accurately points out that Jacksonville "can't seem to stop people unless the pass rush is heated up."
Ryan Raynolds of The 33rd Team, for his part, placed the Jaguars at No. 17 while Mike Florio had them at No. 18. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports might've been the harshest of them all, ranking the Jacksonville at No. 20. He wonders if maybe he was wrong when assessing them and was a victim of the hype.
"What was that against the Texans? Or were they simply overrated by many -- including me? They sure don't look like a playoff team."
As recently as Week 1, Prisco had the Jaguars in the top 3, so it's hard to say he's been biased. Following the win over the Colts, PFT and NFL Media ranked Jacksonville at No. 7. However, nobody can say with a straight face that they're one of the best teams in the NFL heading into Week 4. Losing to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs is one thing but being outplayed in all three phases of the game by a seemingly "lesser opponent" is unacceptable.
The Jaguars were at home and Houston was without several key starters, including left tackle Laremy Tunsil, linebacker Denzel Perryman, and safety Jalen Pitre. Looking back, Jacksonville had every conceivable edge but couldn't deliver. Now, they find themselves in a four-way tie in the AFC South.
The Jaguars must get back to the drawing board, get back into the win column
Remember those Jaguars that got hot at the end of the 2022 season and went on to qualify for the postseason? Their 2023 counterpart is currently just a shadow of that team. As Prisco noted, it's fair to wonder if everyone overrated them. Maybe they themselves bought into the hype but one thing is clear, Jacksonville doesn't currently like a playoff squad.
The receivers are dropping passes at a high rate, the pass rush has cooled down significantly for the opener and their special teams aren't helping. This isn't just a matter of making a slight adjustment. There are many things wrong with the Jaguars and unless they fix the issues that are holding them back, they will keep losing games.
Forget about the power rankings. It doesn't matter if they're snubbed or given a fair spot. Right now, the Jags don't pass the eye test, and head coach Doug Pederson deserves to share some of the blame. The good news is that he's aware his performance has been less than ideal. Maybe he needs to tighten things up or have a more laid-back approach. Either way, he knows what steps need to be taken. This isn't his first rodeo, so the hope is that he'll be able to right the ship.
Until further notice, expectations should be tempered. The Jaguars need to prove they are that team the consensus thought they were in the offseason. They could start by disposing of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4.