Sunday, August 7, 2016

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - 2016 Season Preview

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS                                                              

2015 Record:  5-11-0

Head Coach:  Gus Bradley

New Faces for 2016 - DT Malik Jackson, RB Chris Ivory, CB Prince Amukamara, S Tashaun Gipson, OL Mackenzy Bernadeau, OL Kelvin Beachum

OFFENSE:  Quarterback Blake Bortles is coming off a big season in which he passed for 4,428 yards with 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Journeyman Chad Henne is the backup.
The running game gets a major shot in the arm with Chris Ivory (1,070 rushing yards, 4.3 ypc average and seven TD along with 30 receptions, one for TD) coming over from the New York Jets to join T.J. Yeldon, who had 740 yards, 4.1 ypc and scored two touchdowns, in the backfield. Yeldon also caught 36 passes, including one for a score.
A pair of 1,000 yard receivers lead the way for the Jaguars in Allen Robinson (1,400 yards on 80 grabs with 14 TD) and Allen Hurns, who made 64 catches for 1,031 yards with ten touchdowns.  Julius Thomas is the tight end and he had 46 receptions for 455 yards with five touchdowns last year.  Injury riddled Marqise Lee is another option at wide receiver, if he can stay healthy.

DEFENSE:  Malik Jackson and Roy Miller (four QB sacks) will man the inside tackle spots while Dante Fowler, Jr. and Jared Odrick (5 1/2 sacks) will play the end spots in the 4-3 set.
The linebackers are ten-year veteran Paul Posluszny (three interceptions) in the middle with Myles Jack (rookie from UCLA) and Telvin Smith expected to start on the outside spots.
The secondary has Davon House (four picks) and rookie Jalen Ramsey (top pick from Florida State) playing cornerback and the safeties are Tashaun Gipson and Johnathan Cyprien.  James Sample, Josh Evans, Prince Amukamara and Dwayne Gratz provide depth in this area.

OUTLOOK:  The offense looks to be solid once again with Bortles and company airing it out while Chris Ivory should provide ample yardage to go with T.J. Yeldon giving the Jags a dynamic backfield, and their best since the Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew days of a decade ago.
The defense was a sore spot last season, ranking 24th overall (375 yards allowed per game) while ranking 31st in scoring defense, allowing 28 points per game.
The secondary has to improve after getting torched to the tune of 268 yards allowed per game with just nine interceptions for the season. An improved pass rush would help as well. The Jaguars totaled only 36 sacks in 2015, thus the emphasis on defense in the draft last spring.
There are many people touting this team to make the playoffs this season but that may be a bit premature heading into the 2016 season.
The Jags did make strides on offense last year, especially with the passing game, but the defense took another huge step back.
A lot has to go right for the Jags to make the playoffs. Step by step improvement looks to be in order here, so a .500 finish would be a good season as this team has had five consecutive double-digit loss seasons.

Fearless forecast -  7-9 this year

Week 1 - vs. Green Bay
Week 2 - at San Diego
Week 3 - vs. Baltimore
Week 4 - vs. Indianapolis (London, England)
Week 5 - BYE
Week 6 - at Chicago
Week 7 - vs. Oakland
Week 8 - at Tennessee
Week 9 - at Kansas City
Week 10 - vs. Houston
Week 11 - at Detroit
Week 12 - at Buffalo
Week 13 - vs. Denver
Week 14 - vs. Minnesota
Week 15 - at Houston
Week 16 - vs. Tennessee
Week 17 - at Indianapolis

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