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Will The Jacksonville Jaguars Contend In The AFC South?


Folorunso Fatukasi #94 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs out before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on August 20, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.
(Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

 

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the laughing stocks of the NFL over the past four seasons.

They have had a losing record each year and their best season over the stretch was 2019 when they were 6-10.

After getting many high drafts picks for all those losing seasons, is Jacksonville ready to contend in their division?

The answer to that has a lot to do with the development of quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The 2021 first-overall pick struggled in his rookie season, but he did not get much support from the coaches around him.

Former head coach Urban Meyer was fired after 13 games and the whole season was a mess for Jacksonville.

Lawrence struggled all year, throwing for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.

But, the flashes of brilliance were there for the rookie who was fourth in the NFL in money throws.

Now with an experienced head coach like Doug Pederson taking over the team, the Jags have a chance to surprise some people.

Pederson has a history of developing young QBs.

When he was in Philadelphia, Carson Wentz had the best year of his career with Pederson.

Now the test will be for Lawrence to develop under the offensive-minded head coach.

 

Battle For The AFC South

For the past two seasons, the AFC South has been won by the Tennessee Titans.

But, the reigning champs are expected to take a step back this year after trading wide receiver A.J. Brown.

Plus they still have 34-year-old quarterback Ryan Tannehill at the helm.

In Indianapolis, the Colts traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and added Matt Ryan as their new QB.

That should be an upgrade for this upcoming season but it is fair to wonder how much the 37-year-old Ryan has left in the tank.

The Houston Texas are in rebuild mode after trading Deshaun Watson and turning the franchise over the Davis Mills.

That leaves us with Jacksonville.

In most seasons, the team with the best quarterback in the division wins.

It is not crazy to think that Lawrence could be the best QB in the South this year.

The 22-year-old is by far the most talented quarterback and should leap forward in 2022.

The Jaguars front office surrounded Lawrence with plenty of new skilled players to help his development.

They added Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram and welcome back first-round pick Travis Etienne.

Kirk should be the new number one receiver after signing a huge deal in the offseason.

Etienne, the former college teammate of Lawrence is expected to be the workhorse for the Jags.

Plus, he is an excellent pass catcher that will help out of the backfield.

Jacksonville’s defense has even gotten much better over the past year.

They added the 2022 first overall pick, Travon Walker, to their defense.

Along with another first-round pick in linebacker Devin Lloyd.

The Jaguars may be too inexperienced to contend for the AFC South title.

But, they certainly have the pieces in play to make some noise in the near future.





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