Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 NFL PREVIEW - Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS                                        

2014 Record: 3-13-0 (3rd in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Gus Bradley

New Players in 2015 - TE Julius Thomas; RB Bernard Pierce; LB Dan Skuta; DB Sergio Brown; DB Davon House; DL Jared Odrick; OL Jeremy Parnell; OL Stefen Wisniewski.

OFFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  31st in NFL (289.6 ypg)

DEFENSIVE RANK in 2014 -  26th in NFL (370.8 ypg)

Offense:  Blake Bortles is back after a rough rookie season in which he passed for 2,908 yards with eleven touchdowns and also 17 interceptions. Backing up Bortles will be Chad Henne (492 yards passing with three TD and one INT).
The running game could be going the way of running back by committee this season as last year's team leading rusher Denard Robinson returns after going for 582 yards (4.3 ypc average) and four touchdowns. Also in the mix will be Bernard Pierce (366 rush yards, 3.9 ypc and two TD with Baltimore), Toby Gerhart (326 yards, 3.2 ypc and two TD) and rookie T.J. Yeldon (Alabama).
Allen Robinson (48 receptions for 548 yards and two TD), Marqise Lee (37, 422, one TD), Allen Hurns (51, 677, six TD) and rookie Rashad Greene (Florida State) will be the primary receivers for the Jaguars this year.
The tight end is Julius Thomas, who signed on with the Jags as a free agent after making 43 receptions for 489 yards and twelve touchdowns in Denver last season. Marcedes Lewis (18, 206, two TD) and Clay Harbor (26, 289, one TD) are the other tight ends.
Up front on the line is center Stefen Wisniewski along with tackles Luke Joeckel and Jeremy Parnell. The guards are Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder.

Defense:  The tackles are Sen'Derrick Marks (8 1/2 QB sacks) and free agent Jared Odrick. The ends in the 4-3 set will be Tyson Alualu and Chris Clemons, who registered eight sacks a year ago.
Top rookie pick Dante Fowler, Jr. (Florida) was lost for the season when he suffered a severe knee injury in the rookie mini camp. Ryan Davis (6 1/2 sacks) and Andre Branch (three sacks) will add depth up front.
The linebackers include nine-year veteran Paul Posluszny (two sacks) in the middle along with outside linebackers Telvin Smith and Dan Skuta.
The corners are Demetrius McCray and Davon House and the safeties are Jonathan Cyprien and Sergio Brown. Rookie James Sample (Louisville) is another safety and along with Aaron Colvin, Josh Evans and Dwayne Gratz, will look to rotate into the secondary during games.

OUTLOOK FOR 2015 -  Heading into his second season as Jacksonville quarterback, Blake Bortles will be hoping to stay on his feet as the team allowed a whopping 71 sacks last season. That MUST improve if the team wants to have success on offense, where they ranked next to last in the NFL in yardage last season.
In fact, the Jaguars will be looking to improve in scoring points as well as they finished dead last in the league in scoring, averaging just 15.6 points per game.
It all starts up front with the line in pass protection and run blocking, so Head Coach Gus Bradley will need the passing game to get better  (31st ranked in NFL in 2014) and also see more consistency from the running game.
The defense has to be more aggressive and create turnovers after picking off only six passes last year. On a bright note, the Jags did muster up 45 QB sacks, which was sixth in the NFL.
All in all, it's still an uphill climb for this team entering the 2015 season. The Jaguars should be more competitive after being outscored by 10-plus points per game a year ago. They play in the AFC South and will likely battle Tennessee once again to avoid the division basement.
A 4-12 record would be a one-game improvement as the team continues to build around Bortles and company and looks for better days ahead in the future.

Week 1 - vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 2 - vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 3 - at New England Patriots
Week 4 - at Indianapolis Colts
Week 5 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 6 - vs. Houston Texans
Week 7 - vs. Buffalo Bills (London, England)
Week 8 - BYE WEEK
Week 9 - at New York Jets
Week 10 - at Baltimore Ravens
Week 11 - vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 12 - vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 13 - at Tennessee Titans
Week 14 - vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 15 - vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 16 - at New Orleans Saints
Week 17 - at Houston Texans

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