The Jacksonville Jaguars have won three straight and are currently the top team in the AFC South. However, they don't seem to get the recognition they deserve around the league. Ryan Raynolds of The 33rd Team, for one, placed the Jags in the top 10 of his NFL Power Ranking but put them below several teams who aren't as nearly as good.
Raynolds acknowledges Jacksonville's winning streak and points out that they've scored at least 23 points in each of their four victories this season. However, he wonders how much the potential absence of Trevor Lawrence could affect them in Week 7 and beyond.
"The Jacksonville Jaguars are on a three-game winning streak with two blowouts and a London victory against Buffalo. Jacksonville has scored at least 23 points in each of their four victories.
Trevor Lawrence could miss Thursday night’s contest against the Saints due to a knee injury. All teams are reliant on their quarterback, but the Jaguars would move into well below-average territory without Lawrence."
All things considered, this is a valid criticism. There's a dropoff from Trevor Lawrence to C.J. Beathard, who would get the start if the former isn't good to go. That said, the Jags have enough weapons on offense to overcome Lawrence's absence. Similarly, the defense is doing its job, so the Jaguars would have a realistic shot at beating the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football even without Lawrence in the fold.
It's also a bit odd that Raynolds ranked the Buffalo Bills three spots ahead of Jacksonville even though they fell to them and struggled to put down an underwhelming New York Giants team in Week 6. Similarly, it's a bit odd to see the Dallas Cowboys at No. 7. They lack an offensive identity and had fits against the 2-3 Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football.
The silver lining is that other writers gave the Jaguars a much better spot in their respective rankings. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk placed them at No. 6. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports and the Bleacher Report staff both gave them the No. 7 spot in their respective rankings.
With or without Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars have a tough test vs. the Saints
The Jaguars' wins this season have been no fluke. Although the Colts gave them a headache in their first encounter, they still managed to come on top. Their Week 6 rematch was supposed to be a tough matchup but Jacksonville showed they were the better team by a mile. They also took care of their London slate with relative ease. The defense shut down both Desmond Ridder and Josh Allen and the offense did enough to beat both clubs.
It's true that the Jags drop back-to-back games but you could argue that they were still gelling. Three weeks after the loss to the Houston Texans, they look like a more disciplined team. Earlier in the season, drops and penalties held them back. The coaching staff has since fixed both issues.
As of this writing, it's unknown whether Trevor Lawrence will suit up for Thrusday Night Football. He's currently dealing with a knee injury and the Jaguars could opt to have him rest and fully heal. If he does miss the game and Beathard helps Jacksonville beat the Saints, their spot as one of the top teams in the NFL should no longer be in question.