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NFL.com's Marc Sessler picks Jaguars as 'dark horse team' in 2014

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It seems all the national media is getting on the Jaguars bandwagon.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated predicted the Jacksonville Jaguars would make it into the playoffs. Not to be outdone, the league's official media network threw their hat into the ring.

NFL.com's Marc Sessler said he thinks that the Jaguars would be the "dark horse team" of 2014.

Jacksonville's frisky defense will help keep the Jaguars in games until Bortles replaces the painfully bland Chad Henne. We can point to the rookie's lack of work against opposing starters, but everything Bortles was asked to do in August, he did with more poise and flair than Henne. It recalls Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season with the Steelers, during which he watched from afar in 2004 before replacing a milquetoast and dinged-up Tommy Maddox just two weeks in.

Now, before you think Sessler is just riding the recent wave of Jaguars fandom, remember this: Sessler believes that Blake Bortles will not only win the starting job, but win Offensive Player of the Year honors by year's end.

And when does Sessler believe Bortles will take the starting job away from incumbent Chad Henne?

Bortles will grab the reins by Week 3 and turn Jacksonville into a team nobody wants to play by December.

Are the Jaguars significantly improved from this point last year? Absolutely. Can they be a team that could go toe-to-toe with late-season playoff-caliber opponents like the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens? Sure.

But the Jaguars will also likely finish below .500 as long as Henne is under center.