The Jacksonville Jaguars are averaging 4.71 sacks per game. Over the course of a 16-game season, that comes out to more than 75 sacks — three more than the NFL record set by the Chicago Bears in 1984.
If we were one, two, or even three games into the season, it would be silly to project an NFL record over the rest of the year. But with seven games played, it’s not improbable the Jaguars could hit that mark. Their secondary is a top-three unit in the league and their defensive line is built to rush the passer at the expense of stopping the run (until they traded for Marcell Dareus, that is).
How does it look over the course of the next nine games and can the Jaguars realistically break the NFL record in sacks?
Week 9 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are giving up over three sacks a game and even gave up three yesterday to a pathetic Indianapolis Colts pass rush that is near the bottom of the league with just 16 on the year.
Average to date: 3.1 sacks given up per game
Week 10 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
This is one of the better offensive lines the Jaguars will face in the second half of the season. They’re tied with the Jaguars for having given up just 11 sacks, but they’ve done it over eight games compared to our seven games. Last week, the sacks come in bunches — this week, not so much.
Average to date: 1.4 sacks given up per game
Week 11 at Cleveland Browns
The winless Browns aren’t doing rookie DeShone Kizer any favors. Head coach Hue Jackson is playing ping-pong with second-year quarterback Kevin Hogan and not allowing Kizer to learn for himself. His offensive line has also given up the eighth-most sacks in the league.
Average to date: 2.9 sacks given up per game
Week 12 at Arizona Cardinals
Calais Campbell revenge game! Not really. I doubt there’s a lot of ill will with Campbell, but the Cardinals’ offensive line stinks and they’re in the top-10 when it comes to sacks allowed too.
Average to date: 3.0 sacks given up per game
Week 13 vs. Indianapolis Colts
This is the game to pile it on if you’re lagging in terms of the record. The Colts’ offensive line is bad, quarterback Jacoby Brissett isn’t comfortable in that offense yet, the run game is putrid — go get twice what the Colts give up per game. This makes four teams in their next five games with offensive lines in the top-10 when it comes to sacks allowed.
Average to date: 4.1 sacks given up per game
Week 14 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Another good offensive line in terms of protecting their quarterback and Russell Wilson is able to use his legs to get away from pass rushers. The Jaguars have struggled against the one mobile quarterback they’ve faced with a functional offense in Marcus Mariota.
Average to date: 2.3 sacks given up per game
Week 15 vs. Houston Texans
Go get another 10 sacks.
Average to date: 3.7 sacks given up per game
Week 16 at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have never been 0-8. Ever. This is the worst start in franchise history and their offense has been abysmal outside of an exciting Thursday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Their rookie quarterback in C.J. Beathard is averaging a slightly higher sack rate than Brian Hoyer was.
Average to date: 3.4 sacks given up per game
Week 17 at Tennessee Titans
This will probably be the game where the Jaguars get the fewest sacks of any remaining matchup on their schedule. It will likely decide the AFC South and the Titans have the best offensive line of anyone on their schedule.
Average to date: 1.9 sacks given up per game
If the Jaguars’ defense gets just the average of each team up to this point, they’ll get 25.8 more sacks between now and the end of the season — finishing with a good, but nowhere near NFL record of 58.8 sacks. They’ll have to finish with roughly two sacks above average for each team to break the record.
Over the next nine games, they face seven offensive lines that are in the top-10 when it comes to giving up sacks. Sure, two sacks above average per game is a lofty goal but it’s not improbable by any means. They still get to face both opponents again that they had 10-sack games against.
The stars are aligned. Go get an NFL record, Jaguars.