As we enter the bye week, it’s a good time to think about what we can expect from the Jacksonville Jaguars for the rest of the 2017 NFL season. Sitting at 4-3, which was best case scenario for a lot of fans during the preseason, given the preseason the team appeared to be a total dumpster fire. Hilariously enough, the way the team has been playing 4-3 is the absolute worst result they could have found themselves in.
In fact, you could argue the Jaguars could easily be 6-1 at this point in the season.
So with how the season has gone, how have your expectations changed for after the bye week?
Personally I thought the team would be about 6-10 with a high end of 8-8 if things went their way. As the season has gone so far, even with my opinion on the quarterback holding them back, I think anything less than nine wins should be viewed as a massive disappointment.
That’s not necessarily because the team is so much better than expected, but it’s a combination of the defense being better than expected (which I thought would be enough to keep them close in games to steal some wins) and the schedule going forward being the easiest in the league.
Easiest schedule going forward:— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 23, 2017
1. Jaguars 2. Texans 3. Lions 4. Ravens 5. Steelers 6. Titans 7. Bengals 8. Vikings 9. Eagles 10. Bears
Not only does the schedule seem easy going forward, but teams are starting to be hit with injuries that make the match ups even better. For instance, the Arizona Cardinals just lost Carson Palmer to a broken forearm, which means the quarterback when the Jaguars play Arizona the starting quarterback will be either Drew Stanton or… Blaine Gabbert. I think the Jaguars had a favorable matchup with Palmer in the lineup, but it feels like almost a should win with him out of the lineup.
Then you have the Cleveland Browns who can’t seem to decide on which sacrificial quarterback to start week-to-week. Plus the Jaguars play the Colts again and I’d be stunned if anyone but Jacoby Brissett is the quarterback again.
There are three games I have circled for the Jaguars that can make or break their season. The games against the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks are the toughest remaining games on the schedule. The Titans are always a tough matchup and it’s at the end of the season, so it could have huge implications. The Texans will be a much different matchup with a more seasoned Deshaun Watson and despite the Seahawks having a bunch of jabronis on their offensive line, Russell Wilson still seems to make plays and their defense is still nasty.
So after the pseudo-midway point of the season, I think the Jaguars should be pushing for double-digit wins.
How have your expectations changed?