The Jacksonville Jaguars will soon commence their 24th season as an NFL franchise. In the previous 23 years the team has never appeared in a Super Bowl. Last season, the Jaguars came as close as they ever have, losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. (Myles Jack wasn’t down… but let’s move past that). However, Duval (DUUUVAAAL!) County will be able to boast a hometown Super Bowl champion in the very near future and here are a few reasons why.
Defense Wins Championships
Sacksonville’s historically great defense became even better over the off-season. The Jags lost Aaron Colvin and Paul Posluszny. Both players had significant roles in the 2017 Jaguars defense and they will be missed. However, the team made off-season acquisitions to supplant Colvin and Poz.
The team signed nickelback corner D.J. Hayden to replace Colvin and there are plenty of highly qualified candidates to fill the large shoes that Poz left behind. Myles Jack is expected to fill the void at middle linebacker and 7th round pick Leon Jacobs will take over at strongside linebacker.
First round pick Taven Bryan will add depth to what is currently the best defensive line in the NFL and Ronnie Harrison will learn the tricks of the trade from some of the best safeties in the league – Church and Gipson.
Oh, and did I mention that Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are the two best cornerbacks in the NFL and they’re playing alongside each other in Jacksonville?
This Jags Offense Is More Than Capable
If you’re still a skeptic, it’s time to hop on the Blake Bortles bandwagon. He is just the guy the Jaguars need at the offensive helm. If he plays his cards right, he may end up with a brand new car and a Super Bowl MVP under his name. Don’t be surprised.
The offense was good enough to play in the Super Bowl in 2017. Now in 2018, they are even better. The Jaguars were a blown whistle away from playing in the Super Bowl last year (okay, I’m still a little sour). A team doesn’t make it that far with a bad offense.
Bortles did exactly what he needed to do in the playoffs with zero turnovers throughout the three games. This year Bortles will be the healthiest he’s been since 2016 when he injured his wrist. The nagging injury was surgically repaired this offseason, and this could drastically improve his performance on the field.
The team also signed offensive guard Andrew Norwell to a five-year deal, creating more opportunities for Leonard Fournette to outrun and run over unfortunate defensive backs (@iammikemitchell). Speaking of 2017’s fastest NFL player, Lenny shaved 12 pounds over the offseason. I’m sure by now you’ve heard this, but I had to mention it. WOW. Other offensive additions include Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Niles Paul, Donte Moncrief, D.J. Chark, and Anthony Lazard. These offensive threats join Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Marqise Lee to round off a solid receiving core.
The Organization Is Managed By Winners.
Let’s take it from the top with the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shahid Khan’s first job entailed washing dishes for $1.20/hour. Then he had a pretty good idea about car bumpers… A little ingenuity, determination, and hard work later, Khan is now worth $7.2 billion. He is a winner.
Then there is Tom Coughlin, Vice President of Football Operations. As the team’s first head coach, he led the organization to the playoffs in four of its first five seasons. He then went to New York and won 2 Super Bowls with a less-than-elite quarterback and a defense that pales in comparison to this Jaguars defense. Coughlin isn’t just a winner, he’s a repeat winner and he’ll soon be revered as a serial winner. Coughlin came back to Jacksonville because he has unfinished business and one goal in mind: bring home the Lombardi Trophy. He’s not leaving until his goal is accomplished. And he’s 71… so, it has to happen soon!
As great as those two are, the show does not go on without Doug Marrone. Marrone was the OC for the New Orleans Saints when they won the Super Bowl in 2006 after Katrina devastated the area. He has come to Jacksonville to play messiah once more. In his only full season as Jags head coach, he led the team to its first playoff appearance in a decade. All of a sudden, Jacksonville is a force to be reckoned with. That Patriots game left a bad taste in his mouth and he doesn’t like it. You can bet your right arm that Marrone will not stop until he replaces that with the sweet taste of a shiny teal and black Super Bowl ring. Winner.