The Jacksonville Jaguars’ win total over/under is currently set at nine wins. With an elite defense, a stellar offensive line, and a stable of running backs led by Leonard Fournette you’d think this would be an easy task. After all, this was a team that went to the AFC Championship a year ago, beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, and had Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on the ropes into the fourth quarter in Foxborough.
Why isn’t 10 or more wins a slam dunk?
According to ESPN’s Mike Clay, two words — Blake Bortles.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
How they can get to 10 wins: The Jaguars predictably took a big step forward last season after building an elite defensive unit. Of course, their 10-6 record marked the first time the franchise hit double-digit wins since 2007. A repeat is certainly possible with all of last year’s top defenders still rostered and after the addition of elite free-agent guard Andrew Norwell.
Realistic expectations: The Jaguars were super lucky in the injury department last year, so it will be interesting to see if they can overcome some regression to the mean in that area. Although the defense remains stacked, the question mark at quarterback remains. Blake Bortles was better last season, but he still barely cleared a 60 percent completion rate and tossed 13 interceptions. His presence makes it hard to project a leap forward for this team, despite all its strengths.
My projection: 9.0 | Vegas over/under: 9
Blake Bortles not regressing is what will make this a double-digit win team. That defense is good enough to not lose every single game. That run game and offensive line will keep the defense rested on the sidelines and Bortles from too many sacks. It’s all about the guy under center and as long as he doesn’t melt down and have a career bad year, it’s at least 10 wins and another AFC South title.
What do you think? Is there anything else holding this team back from another double-digit win season? Let us know in the comments!