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Jaguars will make the 2014 playoffs, predicts Don Banks

Sports Illustrated seems to be a fan of what the Jacksonville Jaguars are doing.

Sam Greenwood

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a lot of positive press over the course of the offseason. They're free agent pickups were lauded by most in the national media. Their 2014 NFL Draft was also praised by the majority of experts, especially their shocking move of drafting Blake Bortles with the No. 3 overall pick.

Each time someone from the national media has visited Jacksonville this offseason, they've left with a great impression and been impressed with what Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell have been doing. There are apparently even people who think the Jaguars could be a team who makes the playoffs getting a wild card spot.

Or at least, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated thinks so:

2. It has been since 2008 for one franchise, and 2007 for the two others. But the state of Florida's five-year NFL playoff drought will end with a flourish, with both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville rebounding from 4-12 finishes a year ago to earn wild-card berths and reach the postseason for the first time since Jon Gruden and Jack Del Rio were still on the job as head coaches. Alas, Joe Philbin's still-mediocre Miami Dolphins, who most recently made a playoff appearance in 2008, will not join in on the fun in the sun, failing to post a winning record for the sixth consecutive year. In Miami, that Dave Wannstedt era is looking better all the time.

I'm not ready to put the Jaguars in the playoff picture just yet, or even say they'll push to an 8-8 record. I do think the Jaguars will be much improved for the 2014 season even if the win total doesn't show it. They've already looked significantly better in the preseason this year than they have in the past four or five seasons. The schedule they have this year appears much easier than last season, avoiding the dreaded NFC West.

There's also the thing with starting the second best quarterback on the roster to begin the season, but that's a discussion for another day.