The Surprising Jacksonville Jaguars

At the beginning of the season, there were very few prognosticators touting the greatness of the Jaguars. Shit, even local boy ROB!!! didn’t really think the Jags were all that. Most predicted a 7-9 record as their best-case scenario. And the rest were saying 4-12. Thing is, the Jags have had 5 games vs teams with winning records. Baltimore (44-7 win), Pittsburgh (30-9 win); Tenn (37-16 loss), LA Rams (27-7 loss), and Seattle (30-24 win). Not too shabby till you see that they lost to the Jets and the Cards amid their wins over shit teams like Cinn, Cleve, Hou, and Indy. They have us and Tenn, so that’s a grand total of 6 games vs winning teams. And Tenn may not even finish with a winning record, which would knock that down to 4 games.

Blake Bortles is doing his best Alex Smith impression by being conservative and not turning the ball over amid the 250 yard passing days, and the running of Leonard Fournette. And, of course, their epic defense. They are #1 in points allowed, turnovers, and sacks. Sounds like a pretty imposing thing, but then again, they have feasted on the bottom-feeders of the NFL, mainly their compadres in the AFC South.

Thing is, this could very well be the 49ers next year. We could  be the surprise team that takes the league by storm. The 49ers have a weak last-place schedule in 2018, and this favors us immensely going forward. As it did for Jacksonville this season. The 49ers this season play 10 games vs winning teams, but that will change dramatically next year.

Glancing at the sched,

  • HOME: CHI, DEN, DET, OAK, NYG, AZ, LAR, SEA
  • AWAY: GB, KC, LAC, MIN, TB, AZ, LAR, SEA

and we see 2 home games vs teams with winning records (LAR, Sea), and 4 road games vs teams with winning records (KC, LAR, Sea, Minn). Granted, this is a fluid situation as GB looks to be better with Aaron Rodgers back, but really, AZ is on a downward spiral, and Seattle may very well follow them down. The Rams are the team to beat now, but the Giants, Denver, Detroit, LAC, TB, Oak, and AZ should all be wins. Take one from Sea and that’s 9 wins right there.

10 wins is a possibility, but 9-7 seems pretty achievable.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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40 Responses to The Surprising Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. unca_chuck says:

    And of course that’s Jacksonville’s own Tom Petty. This pic is from Bottle Rock in Napa earlier this year.

    First song he played was the first song on their first album . . . RIP Tom.

  2. 12th Man says:

    Another Garopollo nugget:
    Highest career passer rating, minimum 200 passes, NFL history:
    106.5 Jimmy Garoppolo
    103.8 Aaron Rodgers
    103.0 Deshaun Watson

    Behind that O line with those receivers???

    • Winder says:

      Very interesting.

      • 12th Man says:

        Something else thats interesting, at least to me Winder:
        49ers’ record by starting quarterback, last three years:
        Jimmy Garoppolo 3-0
        Blaine Gabbert 4-9
        C.J. Beathard 1-4
        Colin Kaepernick 3-16
        Brian Hoyer 0-6

  3. Winder says:

    Chuck- It’s way to early for me to even think about wins next year. I do think the schedule is in our favor though and there certainly is some real excitement about the team. I haven’t felt this good about the team in years. Even during the Harbaugh years our offense was our Oline and Gore and that was it. I never felt comfortable with Alex under center. I did think that Kap was gonna turn us into a dynamic offense but we all know what happened there. I do think we have the chance to really be special on offense again all we need are a few pieces. I think by next year we will have a winning record or at least a .500 record. But it still may take another year or so to really fill out the roster.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    We have 9 picks and over $100 mill in cap space. Some of that will go to Jimmy G, but we can fill a lot of holes with that kind of scratch. Drafting is key as usual, but I have a good feeling about these guys. They pretty much nailed it this year, and there is no reason to think they won’t continue. Also, there is no animosity between Jed, Lynch, and Shanny like there was between Jed/Baalke and Harbs. Harbaugh was always walking around like he was the biggest swinging dick in the room.

    Lynch IS the biggest swinging dick in the room. But he doesn’t need to act like he’s King Shit every minute with the media, his coaches, or the front office. Harbaugh’s downfall is that hubris he carries with him like a stone around his neck.

  5. 12th Man says:

    Stole this from another blog poster. It’s JG stats in the RZ playing for the Pats against the Fins:

    1st RZ trip.
    1st pass, 12 YD TD.

    2nd RZ trip.
    1st pass, incomplete.
    2nd pass, 20 YD TD.

    3rd RZ trip.
    1st pass, 7 YD completion.
    2nd pass, 10 YD TD.

    RZ stats: 4/5 (80%), 49 YDs, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 147.1 passer rating.

    Its basically what we see between the 20’s with the Niners, very accurate passing. Once the Niners have a bit more talent and a few less penalties they should vastly improve in the RZ.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    That’s the hope. The majority of the red zone penalties are holding calls and false starts. And the occasional back-breaking OPI.

  7. 12th Man says:

    This piece from PFT about the way the Titan game was won is interesting.

    Not to get too high on JG just yet, but all the signs of a franchise QB are there. We will see as time goes on and he loses some games.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Congrats to Kyle Juszczyk for making the pro bowl. They also sent 4 alternates, Joe Staley, Trent Brown, Robbie Gould and running back Carlos Hyde.The Raiders sent 4 players (!). For sucking hard and squandering their opportunity.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Here’s a look at the last 2 minute drill to win the Tennessee game. Good stuff from Jimmy G. Great to see him running the team and gathering information to succeed. Say what you will about Kaepernick, but that sure wasn’t his strong suit.

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-turning-point/0ap3000000896057/Jimmy-G-does-incredible-job-preparing-team-for-2-minute-drill-NFL-Turning-Point

    • 12th Man says:

      Good video find Chuck. A great behind the scenes look at how Jimmy G does his job before he steps on the field for the 2 min drill and amps up his team. Guy looks like the real deal. I know I was screaming “we’re back” to everyone around me when Gould kicked that FG.

  10. rob says:

    I see TB coming up CHUCK ! Jax is a very winnable game so we might just get 4 in a row here !
    niners by 10

  11. rob says:

    Next year depends on our offseason ! Trade down . WR and CB with our top two picks . With our 116 mil in the bank G and TE in free agency ! IMO we’re on our way to contending in 2018

  12. Lurker John says:

    I have no doubt that the 49ers red zone will improve, and improve vastly. JG has nowhere near a full grasp of KS’s playbook yet, and a lot of seasoning and practice has to go on between JG and the wideouts we do have now. Even with the 3-0 record and 1,000 yards passing in three games, etc, etc, this whole thing is still in its infancy.

    With continuing practice and OTA’s and study, this offense is going to get exponentially better over time. What we’ve seen the past three weeks is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s no way Shanahan is going to let this continue to be an inept RZ offense. A big part of it will be shoring up that sieve of an offensive line and dramatically improving the run game, which will happen by extension. Garcon will be coming back and he’s been a good RZ receiver throughout his career. Kittle will continue to develop, and Celek is looking like he can actually be a viable receiving threat. We all know TE’s are an important part of RZ scoring.

    So, worrying about the lack of TD’s in the RZ at this point is just a waste of time and energy. Next season will be the true litmus test. I expect a lot of good things and I’m sure you all do as well.

  13. Lurker John says:

    A couple more things, we talk a lot about #1 receivers and over the course of the last three weeks we’ve seen the dramatic effect a good QB can have on what people believed is a subpar receiving corps, so what do you dudes mean when you talk about a #1 receiver? A burner? A true possession guy? A big body? What exactly? I’m interested to see if you all agree on a definition or if opinions vary.

    What I’m getting at is, with all of our current guys in place and Jimmy G slinging the pigskin, why exactly isn’t our group pretty close to good enough right now? Why isn’t Garcon a #1 receiver? He’s certainly had a very good career. Are we looking for a Mohammed Sanu or Julio Jones or someone similar? It seems to me we have pretty good guys now, about half of which figure to improve in a major way as the spend more time in not only the NFL but KS’s system.

    • Winder says:

      I think Garcon is a #1WR. Unless there is another Megatron out there I think we need to shore our OL up and if Barkley is there take him. We all have something really good to feel about this offseason. It has been a very long time since we have had a dynamic offense and barring injury we should fine tune it next year. Like you said the RZ will take care of itself with a few upgrades.

    • 12th Man says:

      For me John its guys like these:
      DeAndre Hopkins Texans, Dez Bryant Cowboys, Julio Jones Falcons, Odell Beckham Jr, Giants, Antonio Brown, Steelers, those are true #1 WR in this league.

      That is what changes the game for the O, when you have a quality QB and you have to have a big time catch from your receivers, and those types of players deliver game after game.

      Jimmy G has made the Niners WR corp respectable, but I don’t think anyone can consider them in the same vein as the leagues real #1 guys.

      I like Garcon, he moves the chains and is reliable, a good possession receiver, but to me he is not a #1 capable of spectacular catches that change the course of a game, making pendulum swinging plays that take the wind out of the opposition D.

      The last such receiver for the Niners was Owens, a megalomaniac its true, but a game changing WR.

  14. Lurker John says:

    Last thing, can someone explain to me the logic behind the 10 second runoff rule? A team is penalized critical seconds for having the gall to question the veracity of a call or for committing a penalty at the end of the game. Seems like the dumbest rule on the books to me.

  15. 12th Man says:

    Jimmy G gets his first league award, FED EX NFL air player of the week:
    http://www.49erswebzone.com/articles/112830-49ers-jimmy-garoppolo-named-fedex-nfl-player-week/

  16. 12th Man says:

    Some WR that may be available in FA next year: Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Sammy Watkins.
    OBJ obviously the best but least likely but a case can be made that the Giants have to do a lot to their roster including a high draft pick QB and OBJ will be a top dollar signing.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Hopkins is an absolute beast. But he’s under contract till 2019 with a buyout year. Otherwise he’s a FA 2023.

    • Lurker John says:

      Yes he is. I’d take that guy in a NY minute. I don’t think he gets enough national ink, personally. Hell of a player.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Davante Adams would be a fairly easy get. Then again getting Watkins from the Rams would be most excellent.

    • 12th Man says:

      Looks like Seattle and Arizona are in decline and the Rams are the new team to beat, I would be OK with Watkins too.

      Meant to say, I was in Lahaina with my family this summer, had a great time there.

    • Lurker John says:

      Adams would probably thrive in KS’s system. He’s got wheels big time.

  19. Winder says:

    Hopkins has really come into his own this year. His first couple of years we not all that great. A lot of that has to do with the QB play during those year though and they had Andre Johnson who got most of the targets.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    At some point in the Hou game they showed Hopkins holding a football and his hand wrapped about 3/4 of the way around the middle of it. He’s got enormous hands. With Jimmy G he could be up there with the best.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    I’ve always liked Davante Adams. He, with Garcon and Goodwin would be a nice set of WRs. Taylor and Bourne can back up.

    • Winder says:

      Not sure who the FA WR’s are this upcoming off-season but I bet the Niners will be a very attractive destination since we will be running KS’s system and have Jimmy G pulling the trigger.

      • Lurker John says:

        Absolutely. Given the crapshoot it is drafting receivers, I’d think the best option for the Niners would bringing in a top flight FA.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Well, the top 3 are Terrelle Pryor Sr., Alshon Jeffery, and Sammy Watkins. Watkins brings the most baggage as an underachieving prima donna, but he has the biggest upside as well. He’s tweeting about his lack of production in LA now that he tweeted himself out of Buffalo.

    This extensive list is from Spotrac:

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/wide-receiver/

    • Winder says:

      That is a great list, most of those guys are gonna be re-signed. I would love to get a shot at Allen Robinson but White from Chicago is interesting too. Richardson from seattle is a hell of a player also. You know GB is gonna re-sign Adams.

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