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Jaguars next step: Win two in a row

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a taken a lot of big steps in the 2017 season to bring fans out of the doldrums, winning all four of their games in blowout fashion. Even in two of the team’s losses it wasn’t a “because Jaguars type” thing and games that the Jaguars likely could have won if a few things had gone their way.

The Jaguars under Doug Marrone have taken a lot of steps to show that they’re growing as a team, one thing we looked at on Tuesday was the fact that it’s expected for the offense to score on their opening drive, but there is still one major step the Jaguars have to take before people start to believe in them and take them seriously nationally.

They have to win two games in a row.

So far the Jaguars have alternated wins and losses on the season, with the joke being the loss week falls on a bye. The Jaguars next opponent is the Cincinnati Bengals, at home, and is a game they’ll likely be favored in or at least a pick ‘em.

The Bengals have won two of their last three games and look a lot better since changing offensive coordinators, but Andy Dalton appears to be a shell of himself and has been a turnover machine. The Bengals will be coming off a game against the Indianapolis Colts, one they should surely win, and have momentum coming into EverBank Field.

I don’t want to call games in Week 9 “must win”, but the Jaguars need (is a must need game a thing?) to beat the Bengals next week to get over that hump. We’ve talked about how the schedule in the second half really opens up for the Jaguars and they could go on a run, but before they can go on a run they’ll need to put up victories back-to-back. This isn’t to overlook the Bengals, because they do have a good defense, but they’re a struggling offense that has had a lot of turnovers and that’s something the Jaguars have pounced on this season.

Ending up 4-3 at the bye, with the feeling they should be 6-1 is great, but now it’s time to take that next big step in becoming a viable contender.