2021 record: 3-14
2022 bye week: 11
Most impactful additions: WRs Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, EDGE Travon Walker (first round), LB Devin Lloyd (first round), TE Evan Engram, G Brandon Scherff, C Luke Fortner (third round)
Most impactful departure: WR DJ Chark
Easiest part(s) of schedule: Similar to their AFC South counterparts, the Houston Texans, when you win four games in two seasons, is there really an easy part of a schedule? No matter how much better you think this team might be, there is no stretch where one can simply chalk up wins for them.
In reality, the only single two-game stretch where the Jaguars COULD win two games in a row – barring a major upset – comes in Weeks 16 and 17 when they face the Jets on the Thursday night before Christmas and Houston on New Year’s Day. And both of those games are on the road.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: Conversely, as there are no easy parts of the schedule – despite the fact compared to 2021 win-loss records it’s the seventh-easiest in the league, there are plenty of rough spots.
Opening with Washington is fine, but the three weeks that follow – vs. Indianapolis, at the Chargers and at Philadelphia – tells us the likely best start they can hope for is 1-3.
They have a run of five weeks from Oct. 30 through the end of November when they have just one road game (at Kansas City on Nov. 13), but Jacksonville hosts Denver, Las Vegas and Baltimore, which are all games they likely will be underdogs by about a touchdown or so.
Caesars over/under win total (as of Aug. 29): 6.5 – Over +100 / Under -120; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +12500
Book it: UNDER. Another one I won’t be playing, as this total seems to be about fairly priced, but if I have to pick a side, I simply can’t take the over.
While I love the additions Jacksonville made in the draft, and Doug Pederson is probably a very good fit for this offense, I am not certain they can figure things out enough in a short time to win seven or more games after going 1-15 and 3-14 the past two seasons.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence should be much better, but it would be hard to be worse than 2021. His completion percentage was less than 60, and he threw just 12 touchdowns in 17 games with 17 interceptions. Having Travis Etienne here and healthy with experienced James Robinson in the backfield also should give the offense a boost.
Their offensive line received a major upgrade, especially on the interior with the addition of free agent Brandon Scherff (from Washington) and center Luke Fortner, whom the Jaguars picked in the third round of the 2022 draft. Their receiving corps is at least average with Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones and Zay Jones, but will Lawrence get his completion percentage up enough for it to matter?
Overall, Jacksonville’s schedule has spots where they certainly should win more than three games, but I think we were saying this at the same time last year when their over/under win total going into the season was 6. I am not buying anything they’re selling until they prove they can turn changes into victories.
Projected finish: 5-12
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Categories: Upstate Action