The question on everyone's mind is this. Will the Jaguars make the playoffs in 2011-12. To fully understand the Jaguars' chances, I think it's important to look at who the Jags will be facing in the upcoming season. In 2011 the Jaguars and the rest of the AFC South will square off against the AFC North and the NFC South. What's that mean? It means that this young Jaguars team better grow up quick because their competition is ready to go right now.
Just for the purposes of having a list to look at, here are the Jaguars' home opponents in 2011: Ravens, Bengals, Saints, Buccaneers, Chargers, Colts, Texans, and the Titans. And, here are their away opponents: Browns, Steelers, Falcons, Panthers, Jets, Colts, Texans, and the Titans.
First, let's look at who the Jaguars should beat. I really think the Jags should sweep the Titans, split the Texans and Colts series, and beat the Bengals, Browns, Buccaneers, and the Panthers. That puts the Jaguars at 8 wins already. We're starting out pretty good right?
Next, we move on to games that should be very close in the 4th quarter. These include the games with the Jets, Ravens, Steelers, and the Falcons. Okay, for the purposes of being pessimistic, we'll say the Jaguars split these games.
Finally, we move to the games I don't think the Jaguars match up well, right now, in. These include the games against the Saints and the Chargers. Let's say the Jaguars win one of these games.
Quick addition tells me that the Jaguars should finish between 10-6 to 12-4. Now let me be clear, the Jaguars have some work to do in the off-season, but there's no reason they can't make it to 10-6 next year. The Colts will also have a tough schedule next year, and I think the formula for winning the division outright is the same as in 2010. The Jaguars need to find a way to pull out both of the games against the Colts.
In 2011, the Jaguars have to take care of business in those games that they should win. If they can do that, I see no reason the Jags won't be playing into January. Who knows, maybe they get hot in late December, and they keep playing into early February.