Since 2008, the Jaguars have made the playoffs just once (2017). That year was also the only recent one in which Jacksonville won double-digit games. In the AFC Championship Game that year, the Jaguars fell just short to the New England Patriots, and since then, the Jaguars have mostly cleaned house.
Although Doug Marrone has remained with the team as the head coach, QB Blake Bortles, RB Leonard Fournette, RB T.J. Yeldon, WR Allen Hurns, WR Marquise Lee, and TE Marcedes Lewis have all left Jacksonville since.
The offense has struggled since being a top-five team in 2017. With Jay Gruden replacing John DeFilippo as the offensive coordinator, the Jaguars are hoping to find their way back into the top half of the league with QB Gardner Minshew II leading the way. Meanwhile, the defense had strong seasons in both 2017 and 2018, but in 2019, Jacksonville’s defense allowed the 21st-most points. Defensive coordinator Todd Walsh enters his fifth season with the Jaguars and hopes for a bounce-back season.
Read Also: Houston Texans Predictions and Odds
2020 Jaguars Draft Picks
C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida)
K’Lavon Chaisson, LB (LSU)
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR (Colorado)
DaVon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State)
Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s MN)
Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State)
Shaquille Quarterman, LB (Miami FL)
Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn)
Collin Johnson, WR (Texas)
Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State)
Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech)
Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis)
Notable Other New Faces for the Jaguars
Mike Glennon, QB
Chris Thompson, RB
Tyler Eifert, TE
Bruce Miller, FB
Timmy Jernigan, DT
Josh Mauro, DE
Cassius Marsh, LB
Joe Schobert, LB
Sidney Jones, CB
Rashaan Melvin, CB
Notable Jaguars in New Places
Nick Foles, QB – Chicago Bears
Leonard Fournette, RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyler Ervin, RB/PR/KR – Green Bay Packers
Marqise Lee, WR – New England Patriots (opted out of 2020 season)
Geoff Swaim, TE – Tennessee Titans
Calais Campbell, DE – Baltimore Ravens
Yannick Ngakoue, DE – Minnesota Vikings
Austin Calitro, LB – Denver Broncos
A.J. Bouye, CB – Denver Broncos
Cody Davis, FS – New England Patriots
Ronnie Harrison, SS – Cleveland Browns
Notable Jaguars on the Injury Report
Ryquell Armstead, RB – placed on reserve/COVID-19 list
Devine Ozigbo, RB – placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury; expected to return for Week 4
Dede Westbrook, WR – questionable for Week 2 with a shoulder injury after missing Week 1
Josh Allen, DE – questionable for Week 2 with a calf injury
Quincy Williams, LB – placed on injured reserve with an abdomen injury; expected to return for Week 4
Dontavius Russell, DT – placed on injured reserve for an undisclosed reason
Josh Jones, S – questionable for Week 2 with a leg injury
Jarrod Wilson, FS – placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury; expected to return for Week 5
Jaguars Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Al Woods, DT
Lerentee McCray, LB
Rashaan Melvin, CB
Jaguars Offense Predictions
Gardner Minshew and “Minshew Mania” took the football world by storm at the beginning of the 2019 season, as he replaced injured QB Nick Foles. Minshew reprises his role as the team’s starting quarterback once again after a solid rookie season. The Jaguars selected him with the No. 178 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and he threw for 3,217 yards with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also led three game-winning drives and had a 6-6 record in his 12 starts.
Minshew began the 2020 season on a very strong note, as he and the Jaguars upset the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 27-20. Future Hall of Fame QB Philip Rivers was the new man in Indianapolis. Still, Minshew looked like the better quarterback, as he completed 19 of his 20 passes for an impressive 95 percent completion percentage and threw for three touchdowns. Minshew’s quarterback rating was a career-best 142.3 in the Week 1 victory.
Jaguars Running Backs: Can James Robinson Keep the Starting Running Back Role for the Entire 2020 Season?
Jay Gruden may have found his new starting running back after the Jaguars released Leonard Fournette and placed Ryquell Armstead on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the second time in 2020.
As the starter, James Robinson ran for 62 yards on 16 carries in his first game and drew praise from Jay Gruden. The undrafted rookie also caught his only target for 28 yards. He will look to build on this performance, and if he plays well during the early weeks of the season, he will possibly be the starting running back for the rest of the season.
Jaguars Wide Receivers: Will D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Keelan Cole Be Key Contributors Throughout the Season?
Minshew found three different receivers for touchdowns in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Besides, the game included receptions by ten different Jaguars. The largest beneficiaries were the following: Keelan Cole (five receptions, 47 yards, and one touchdown), Laviska Shenault Jr. (three receptions, 37 yards, and one touchdown), and D.J. Chark (three receptions, 25 yards, and one touchdown). Although no wide receiver surpassed 50 receiving yards in the 27-20 victory, Minshew already appears comfortable with his pass-catchers.
Jaguars Tight Ends: Can Tyler Eifert Produce As He Did in His 2015 Pro Bowl Season?
Minshew may be relying on wide receivers once again in 2020, just like he did in 2019. James O’Shaughnessy led the tight ends last year with 20 targets, 14 receptions, 153 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. It seems that 2015 Pro Bowler Tyler Eifert may take away some targets from O’Shaughnessy this season, but each received just one target and brought each one in for a reception. Eifert’s catch went for eight yards while O’Shaughnessy’s did not gain any yardage.
Read Also: Indianapolis Colts Predictions and Odds
Jaguars Defense Predictions
The Jaguars look very different on defense in 2020 as they have lost DE Calais Campbell, DE Yannick Ngakoue, and CB A.J. Bouye. The Jaguars on defense are LB Joe Schobert, rookie DE K’Lavon Chaisson, and rookie CB C.J. Henderson. Henderson strongly began his first NFL season, as he intercepted his first career pass and defended three passes. Second-year S Andrew Wingard added an interception and defended a pass as well.
Meanwhile, LB Myles Jack was his regular self, as he hit Philip Rivers twice and sacked him once. The sack was a part of his 11-tackle day. Only S Josh Jones had more tackles, as he matched his career-high with 12 combined tackles before leaving with a leg contusion. The Jaguars hope to get Jones back for Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans.
Read Also: Tennessee Titans Predictions and Odds
Jaguars Special Teams Predictions
Josh Lambo, who went undrafted in 2015, spent his first two seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Then, after the Chargers released Lambo in September 2017, he signed with the Jaguars one month later. Lambo enters his fourth season with the Jaguars after he had a tremendous 2019 season. Last year, he made 33 of his 34 field goal attempts and led the league with his 97.1 field goal percentage. Lambo also missed just one of his 20 extra-point attempts.
Lambo is already off to a strong start in 2020, as he has made all five of his kicks, two of which were field goals. Lambo made a pair of crucial second-half field goals. His first was a 50-yard field goal, and it accounted for the only points put on the board by either team in the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, Lambo’s 46-yard field goal extended the lead to seven points, which would be the Jaguars’ eventual margin of victory against the Colts.
Jaguars Head Coach Predictions
Doug Marrone enters this fifth season with the Jaguars and his fourth full season with the team. He has a 22-28 career regular season with the Jaguars. His overall NFL regular-season record is 37-45. If Marrone can improve from Jacksonville’s 6-10 last-place finish in 2019, then the 2020 season will be considered a success. With Minshew securely in the starting quarterback role, maybe the Jaguars could be in for a surprise season.
Meanwhile, Jay Gruden is coming from being the Washington Football Team’s head coach to Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator. This might be the year that the Jaguars can finally find their way back to having an above-average offense. If rookie RB James Robinson and rookie WR Laviska Shenault Jr. can provide boosts on offense, maybe Gruden, Minshew, and the company can shock everybody.
Jaguars Predictions for Week 2
There is optimism after the Jaguars’ impressive Week 1 victory, but Week 2’s contest is not an easy one. After the line opened with the 1-0 Titans favored by 11 points, the line has dropped all the way to 7.5 points.
Ryan Tannehill and the company will be hosting the Jaguars for the 1:00 pm eastern time contest. Stephen Gostkowski’s three missed field goals and one missed extra point almost led to a Week 1 loss for the Titans, but he made his final field goal attempt to get the Titans the 16-14 win. If the Jaguars get lucky with some Gostkowski misses, and Minshew looks like his Week 1 self, Jacksonville could be a value bet in Week 2.
Jaguars Predictions for 2020 Season
With the 2020 over/under for the Jaguars being 4.5 wins, Week 1 may have been an aberration. They surprised the NFL with the seven-point upset of the Colts to begin the season, but maybe Jacksonville can surprise some more teams as Minshew looks to continue to defy the odds.
The sixth-round selection will not make Jacksonville’s +30000 Super Bowl futures bet a reality, but the Jaguars could be overlooked against the spread this season. They were 7-9 last year against the spread but may be better this year.
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