The Case for the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have shocked the world with their performance this season. They are 7-3 and lead the AFC South, a division that only ever really saw competition between the Texans and Colts in recent years. But with Andrew Luck out for the Colts and number of stars out for Houston, the Jags have a chance to shine.

They made a great move this offseason when they picked up Calais Campbell, who played in Arizona from 2008-2016. The former Miami Hurricane and 2x- Pro Bowler and All-Pro decided to bring his talents to Jacksonville, signing a four-year, $60 million dollar contract (along with all the other bells and whistles). With the addition of Campbell to an already  talented group of guys like Telvin Smith. A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, the Jags defense has emerged as the best in the league, giving up only 275.6 yards per game. Campbell leads the league with 11.5 sacks, and the team as a whole leads with 40 (and 264 yards lost)! They also lead the league with three defensive TDs, are tied fourth in forced fumbles (13) and are third in INTs (13).

They also made another offseason move: drafting Leonard Fournette. He was the man at LSU, rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2014 and 2015 (almost hit 2,000 in 2015). His junior year statistics weren’t as jacked due to a high ankle injury he dealt with all season, but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind of what this guy could do when he was healthy. The Jags took him fourth overall and they were not disappointed. The addition of Fournette to their running back group now have them sitting at the top of the leader board in rushing yards per game (160.6). Grant, Yeldon and Ivory have all contributed close to (or over) 200 yards rushing on the season, and Fournette leads them all with 740.

The only thing holding this team back… the average (mostly below average) play of Blake Bortles. He only has a 58.4 % completion percentage, 12 TDs and 7 INTs on the year. He does have 195 rushing yards, I’ll give him that. But there needs to be more consistency out of Bortles if this team wants to contend with the Patriots and Steelers, because you better believe the Steeler are NOT losing to them again. Bottom line: he needs to help his team score more points. The defense can only bail him out so many times and the offense can’t depend solely on a run game; there needs to be a balance. I get so frustrated watching him sometimes because he makes a lot of good decisions and great throws. But then he’ll go and make a series of bad decisions that just take away from all the good he’s accomplished in a game. Bortles has what it takes to be (consistently) better than he is; he just needs to tap into it. PLEASE BLAKE! JUST TAP IN!

I’m really rooting for this team! They’ve got a solid defense  (I’m a sucker for great defenses) and a good offense, though it could use some improvements. They control their destiny right now and with the right moves, they can only get better from here on out.

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