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Jacksonville Jaguars 2016-17 NFL Team Preview

Jacksonville Jaguars 2016-17 NFL Team Preview


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2016-2017 Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

Key Additions: RB Chris Ivory, OT Kelvin Beachum, G Mackenzy Bernadeau, DE/DT Malik Jackson, CB Prince Amukamara, S Tashaun Gipson

Key Subtractions: RB Toby Gerhart, G Zane Beadles, C Stefen Wisniewski, DE Chris Clemons, S Sergio Brown

Strengths

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Jacksonville has carried the stigma of being a bad team for some time now. While that’s something the franchise deserves for playing as if they just learned football a day before every game, there were glimpses of talent, particularly in the Jaguars’ aerial attack, to remain positive about their future.

Now in his third season as Jacksonville’s quarterback, Blake Bortles did a decent job of utilizing a promising cast of receivers in 2015, which includes Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. The duo combined for 2,431 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. All told, the Jaguars were 10th in the league last season in passing yards with 256.8 per contest.

Weaknesses

Gus Bradley probably has the hottest seat among all coaches in the NFL today. Repeated failures over the past few seasons have made him a target for critics and fans tired of all the losing. And most of the frustrations last season were rooted in a despicable defense that ranked 24th in total yards allowed per game (375.0).

Hopefully, a busy offseason which saw the Jaguars acquire the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, Malik Jackson, and Tashaun Gipson (with Dante Fowler, last year’s first-round pick, returning from injury) will significantly transform their wasteland defense into one of the best at least in the division. The Jaguars also need better protection for their quarterbacks; their offensive line allowed 51 sacks and 89 QB hits in 2015.

Key Player – Julius Thomas

The Jags are all right with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but coaxing much better production from tight end Julius Thomas would certainly make Jacksonville’s passing game more lethal. Thomas played in 12 games last season and had 455 receiving yards and just five touchdowns. The year before, he had 489 receiving yards and 12 TDs catching bombs from Peyton Manning in Denver.

Key Game – vs. Green Bay (September 11)

The Jaguars open their 2016 campaign at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and that should be a great measure as to how improved the Jaguars would be by then. The highly-praised improvements on Jacksonville’s defense this offseason should be under the microscope in Week 1.

2015 Team Stats

Category Stat (Rank)
Points per game 23.5 (#14)
Passing yards per game 256.8 (#11)
Rushing yards per game 92.1 (#27)
Scoring defense 28.0 (#31

Writer’s Prediction

The Jaguars, who are +225 to win the AFC South, finish the regular season with a 6-10 record.

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Rex
Written by Rex

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