Over the years, I’ve found myself asking this question far too often before the season even ends, but here we are again. What is the best case scenario for the Jacksonville Jaguars right now?
That is, for the remainder of the 2019 season, would it be in the team’s best interest to try to remain competitive for the last three games of the season, or is it time for full tank mode? I mean, this may be a moot point because even when the Jags are trying to play to win, the team has little shot against most NFL teams, thanks in large part to poor roster construction. But let’s discuss this subject anyway.
Really, there are two different philosophies at work here: try to finish with the best record you possibly can and build on that momentum next season, or tank for a better draft pick. Obviously, for the players/coaches/front office, winning matters to save jobs. You’re probably never going to hear an NFL franchise outright say it is tanking for the future and for better draft picks, though it happens. So I would still expect every person within the organization to make sure this team is best-prepared to win its final three games (if coaching/front office changes don’t take place before season’s end). But from the fans’ perspective, then tanking for a better pick, especially seeing how the Jags have two selections in the upcoming draft, sounds like an enticing deal. But then again from the fans’ perspective, if you’re a paying customer and actually attending the games, you want to see the best product possible on the field.
The reality is probably right in the middle. In my opinion the best case for the Jaguars moving forward, with playoffs now 100 percent out of the question, would be to continue playing and developing their young talent — Josh Allen, Gardner Minshew, Jawaan Taylor, Quincy Williams, etc. — and if you lose the game it really doesn’t matter at this point. In fact, losing only helps your draft position. See what those guys have to offer, especially Minshew at the vital quarterback position, and assess your needs from there. You also have Leonard Fournette and D.J. Chark as offensive building blocks. Oh, and pay Yannick Ngakoue.
And I am kind of a traditionalist. I don’t believe in tanking. I want to see my team win, because let’s face it, it rarely happens. But even I understand that winning doesn’t do much at this point. What I am trying to say, as a fan of the team, is I still want to see development, competitiveness and willingness to leave it out on the field. Some kind of positive note to end the 2019 season. If you do that, then I’m not too worried about the scoreboard.
It’s likely we’ll see changes heading into the 2020 season — with the coaching staff, front office, players/personnel, etc. Honestly, there is probably going to be a lot of turnover. The team also has a ton of early draft picks in the next two years (which are never guaranteed to hit). Maybe with the right leadership, the franchise can turn it around some day soon, but for now this organization is too hard to trust.
Now that I put my thoughts out there, I want to hear your opinions on the matter. Please comment below and vote in the poll.
How should the Jaguars handle the remainder of the 2019 season?
This poll is closed
Full tank mode (get the best draft pick possible)
"Competitive" tank (try to win, but losses are OK)
Win as many games as possible