Briefly listening to Wayne Weaver today, he reiterated the improvement/progress theme throughout his comments. He felt the Jaguars season this year was improved upon last year, and cited numerous stats to back his arguments (like Garrad's 4th quarter QB Rating of all things). He cited players input, their voice and opinions about JDR as Head Coach and the improvements he made. He cited his personal observations and how he wants Jack to act as a Head Coach. He has (once again) set offseason goals and challenges to hold people accountable within the organization, though he did this last year, he didn't elaborate if those goals were met or improved upon in 2010. The one thing he failed to mentioned/strongly emphasized once was Wins and Losses. In my opinion, that is the most important quantible measurable when determining improvement and progress in the NFL. It is all about Wins and Losses in the NFL. You have heard the old saying, a Win is a Win in the NFL and you take them anyway you can get them. That got me to thinking as to what teams really improved their W/L records in 2010 compared to 2009. And where do the Jaguars rank in that compared to other improving teams.
First, there were 16 teams (NE, NYJ, PIT, BAL, JAX, KC, OAK, NYG, WAS, CHI, DET, ATL, TB, SEA, STL, SF) that increased their Victory totals in 2010 compared to 2009. Tampa Bay saw an increase of 7 games (best in the league). The lowest (and only) team which increased their victory total by 1 game in 2010 was, the Jacksonville Jaguars. 14 teams (BUF, CIN, IND, HOU, TEN, SC, DEN, PHL, DAL, GB, MIN, NO, CAR, ARZ) decreased their Victory Totals in 2010 and 2 teams (MIA, CLE) stayed SALY (Same As Last Year).
There are 5 new playoff teams in 2010 compared to 2009 (PIT, KC, CHI, ATL, SEA) and each team increased their victory totals (PIT+3), (KC+6), (CHI+4), (ATL+4), (SEA+2). Out of the remaining 7 2010 playoff teams that were in the 2009 playoffs, only three teams decreased their victory totals (IND-4), (PHI-1), (GB-1).
There were 6 new Division Champs in 2010 (PIT, KC, PHL, CHI, ATL, SEA) while only two repeated (NE, IND). NE improved by 4 games, while the Colts decreased by 4 games.
Out of the 8 last place Division teams in 2009, the Bills regressed (-2), Cleveland (SALY). Jacksonville improved 1 game, while WAS (+2), KC (+6), DET (+4), TB (+7), STL (+6). This to me was the most eye-popping stats when looking at this. Yes we got better (1 game), but compared to the other last place teams who improved, we were only "3rd best".
We also played in the only Division in the NFL in which 3 out of the 4 teams decreased their victory totals (IND-4), (HOU-3), (TEN-2). Once again, this is another interesting stat, as this presented an opportunity for a team to dramatically improve their standing within a Division with a average victory improvement (3.4 games).
In summary, stats are stats and you can take whatever you want from them. After looking at this, I believe this sums up the missed opportunity we had this year and if our improvement really was as great as everyone felt it was. Yes, players got better, the roster is improved, but really the only way you truly measure this kinda stuff is with wins and losses in the NFL. My biggest hypothesis looking at this was that the AFC South "regressed" this year in the fact that just a nominal increase (+1 vs. +3.4) for the Jaguars this year would have won us a Divison title. The opportunity was there, as the AFC South had the highest decrease of victories (9) than any other Division in the NFL. Just another victory (a +2 overall improvement) and the Division would have been ours. And all this was done on a 4th place schedule, which we also failed to take advantage of compared to 5 other teams who improved their victory totals playing on a 4th place schedule.