The Jacksonville Jaguars odds to make the playoffs were slim entering the 2017 NFL season, and no one could blame people for making those odds exceedingly slim. The team was coming off a 3-13 season, the offensive line appeared to be in shambles and the team was returning Blake Bortles as the starting quarterback.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, after Week 1 the Jaguars have a 63.4 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 54.9 percent chance to win the AFC South.
For those unfamiliar with ESPN’s FPI, here is the gist of it:
At its core, NFL FPI is a prediction system for the NFL. Each team's FPI rating is composed of a predicted offensive, defensive and special teams efficiency, as measured by expected points added per play, and that rating is the basis for FPI's game-level and season-level projections.
In the preseason, FPI uses a number of predictive factors to project future team strength. The main component of preseason FPI is Vegas expectations; the expected win totals and money lines for each team are an accurate representation of predicted team strength and provide a strong baseline for teams entering the season.
But relying solely on Vegas has its flaws, and more information is needed to determine what percentage of a team's projected win total can be attributed to its offense, defense and special teams units -- the components that make up FPI.
Therefore, other information included in the preseason ratings include: previous years' efficiencies for each unit, number of returning starters (on offense and defense), coaching/coordinator/quarterback changes and quarterback injuries.
The current FPI projection now has the Jaguars projected win/loss record after Week 1 at 9-7, which is an improvement from the preseason projection of 7-9. The original projection for the Jaguars to win the AFC South back in June for the original rankings was set at 10.9 percent, the worst in the division.
The Jaguars currently sit with the best chance to win the division according to ESPN’s FPI, with the Titans in second place at 36.1 percent and the Texans and Colts at 4.1 and 4.9 percent, respectively.