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NFL Week 9 power rankings

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NFL: International Series-Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

To get a feel for how the Jacksonville Jaguars are viewed around the league, here’s a look at national media power rankings following Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season.

Bleacher Report: 28

CBS Sports: 28

The Ringer: 28

Yahoo Sports: 28

From Frank Schwab:

The positive from Sunday’s loss was Travis Etienne Jr. Jacksonville quit wasting so many snaps on James Robinson by trading him to the Jets, and Etienne responded with 162 total yards. He looked great. It’s weird it took so long for Jacksonville to figure out that Etienne should be used more.

ESPN: 29

From Michael DiRocco:

Etienne is sixth in the NFL in rushing (571 yards) thanks to his 270 yards over the past two games, including 156 against the Denver Broncos in London on Sunday. Etienne started the season as James Robinson’s backup, but by the end of the first month he was outperforming Robinson. The Jaguars eventually made him the starter and traded Robinson to the New York Jets. Now, Etienne is on pace to come close to Fred Taylor’s rookie rushing record (1,223 yards in 1998). With the Jaguars on a five-game losing streak, Etienne is one of the few bright spots.

Among qualified running backs this season, Etienne ranks first in yards per carry and second in Rush Yards over Expected per attempt (per NGS). He also ranks fifth in both breakaway run rate and subjective run grade (per PFF).

Despite missing his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury, and with just eight career regular season games under his belt, Etienne is already making a case as one of the premier backs in the NFL. The eye test backs up the numbers.

The Athletic: 29

From Bo Wulf:

It might seem like a stretch to call the Jaguars one of the league’s most disappointing teams considering the abyss they came from last season, but it’s probably true. They looked like a real contender after their dismantling of the Chargers in Week 3, armed with what looked like a very good defense and an improving offense. They’ve lost five consecutive games since, and Trevor Lawrence continues making critical mistakes, like his interception from the 1-yard line in London. Bummer.

NFL: 30

From Dan Hanzus:

Russell Wilson picked himself off the mat on Sunday and led the Broncos on a go-ahead touchdown drive against the Jaguars with 1:47 to play. When it was Trevor Lawrence’s turn to put on the cape, it just turned into more disappointment for Jacksonville. Lawrence was picked off on his first throw in the ensuing drive, sealing a painful 21-17 loss at Wembley Stadium. Lawrence, who also threw a critical end-zone interception on first-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the first half, is not making the strides many expected. His starting job remains safe because the Jags simply have too much invested in the former No. 1 overall pick, but Lawrence needs to be better. What he’s shown through eight games of Year 2 simply isn’t good enough.

Lawrence was heavily criticized following Jacksonville’s Week 9 London loss to the Broncos. The second-year quarterback threw two horrible interceptions on national television, and Lawrence’s 4.29 yards per pass attempt was the worst single-game mark of his career (save for Week 2 of 2021, also against Denver).

Lawrence definitely deserves blame for most, if not all, of Jacksonville’s loses this season (all of which have been by eight points or fewer). He said himself that he must play better in order to help the team win. But while the 2022 results haven’t been satisfactory, I promise that Lawrence is still the long-term answer.

The high-leverage plays (like redzone and late downs) will start working with more experience and more help, but on a down-to-down basis, Lawrence is performing well in spite of his current receiving core.

Final note: Tyson Campbell has arrived.