With Sunday’s loss to the San Diego Chargers and both the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans winning again, it appears as if the Jacksonville Jaguars playoff hopes are sitting at slim-to-none. That doesn’t mean it’s a lost season however, especially considering most didn’t even think the playoffs were a remote possibility.
While the Jaguars are still alive in the playoff hunt, it’s unlikely they’ll slip in given some of their issues than can’t change, but there is still something big they can take away from 2015 that can propel them into the 2016 season.
Win your division games.
The Jaguars are currently 1-2 in the AFC South this year. For Gus Bradley’s tenure with the Jaguars, they’re 5-10 against AFC South teams, with the vast majority of those wins coming against the hapless Tennessee Titans. With three division games left, Bradley and the Jaguars can move that record closer to .500, because the first step to being a playoff team is winning your division games.
That’s what the Jaguars have seemingly been building towards, dominating the AFC South. If you follow me and some of my compatriots on Twitter, such has Hank Joness and Eric Stoner, you may have seen us discuss "bully ball" around the 2015 NFL Draft, especially with all the interest and eventual drafting of Dante Fowler. Fowler wasn’t the most explosive or athletic pass rusher in the draft, but he was what many would consider a "bully" on the field. So were free agent signings Jared Odrick, Dan Skuta, Jermey Parnell and Davon House. There was a theme in the players that Dave Caldwell was drafting and signing, and it was a theme to help beat up on the AFC South, given most of the teams are what people would consider "finesse" teams.
If the Jaguars can finish out their division games winning two of three, it will be a good indication that the tide is turning as we think it is and should be.
I think the Jaguars will end up hitting my hope for the season in the win-loss column at 6-10, which in my opinion will be disappointing considering how things ended up playing out. Never the less, the team can still finish with some great things this season, especially if they can start knocking off division opponents.
It’s going to be something they have to do in 2016, so midas whale get a head start on bully ball.