The Jacksonville Jaguars are at a crossroads. They’re facing off against the Chicago Bears on Sunday after stumbling out of the gate in the first quarter of the season. The defense has (inexplicably) carried them while supposed franchise quarterback Blake Bortles has shown signs of regression. The running game is bad, the offensive line is on its last legs, and Allen Robinson is getting the kitchen sink thrown at him.
But it can all turn around on Sunday.
The difference between a win and a loss is bigger than it has been in a long time. A win means hope in a woeful AFC South. A loss means... well... let’s just say mock draft season will come a little earlier this year.
The second quarter of the season is when many of us predicted the Jaguars would pick up some momentum. In a vacuum, that’s true. The Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Kansas City Chiefs looked like two wins, a coin flip, and a loss on the road before the season started. Now?
The Jaguars win on the road against the Bears, squeak out a win against the Raiders at home, beat the Titans by two possessions on Thursday Night Football, and lose to the Chiefs on the road to get to 4-4 by midseason. I don’t think winning all four of these games is possible, so three is probably the best-case scenario for this team.
The Jaguars lose in the fourth quarter to the Bears, lose by double-digits to Jack Del Rio, lose by a field goal to the Titans, and Gus Bradley is fired the morning after the Thursday Night Football game. The team would be in disarray, Bortles would have likely contributed to these losses in a big way, and overachieving by the defense and special teams would be wasted on a quarterback that is looking less and less like the guy by the week.
I think this team goes 1-3 over the next four games. I think the Raiders and Chiefs hand us losses and I think the Bears and Titans are coin flips. Two coin flips equals one win to me. I think Bortles isn’t as bad as he was the first four games, but he continues to make mistakes. And I don’t think the running game catches up to where it needs to be. The defense will continue to play at its highest level under Gus Bradley, but unfortunately I think this is a 2-6 team at midseason. And I think Gus is gone before the team travels to Kansas City.
What do you think about this second quarter of the season for the Jaguars? Do you think the offense turns it around? Do you think the defense comes down to earth? Do you think Gus Bradley gets