Is it time to sound the alarm in Jacksonville? This team has not looked as it was believed given its splendid closing of the previous campaign: at the moment all they have is a victory in the first week against a quarterback who was making his debut in his professional career, a loss with poor performance against an elite team of the AFC, and another surprising stumble against a rival that, in theory, they should have defeated. Therefore, the question is inevitable: Are the Jaguars the weakest team in the AFC South?
Complicated start to the year for the Jaguars
After a 2022 where they won their last five regular season games, where they qualified for the playoffs in the last week, where they came back in the Wild Card Round a game that seemed lost against the Chargers, and where they were finally defeated by the Chiefs but only until the AFC Divisional Round, exceeding all kinds of expectations, it seems that the Jaguars started 2023 with a lot of weight on their shoulders and after three weeks of the season, they have not been what they believed.
Mostly there was, or even still is, the belief that these Jaguars would not only win the AFC South, but that they would do it too easily and settle in the high rounds of the playoffs, especially since it is already the third year as a professional of the QB Trevor Lawrence, first overall pick in the 2021 Draft, and who had seen undeniable improvement over time. However, not everything has been smooth sailing for those led by HC Doug Pederson.
Although in Week 1 they beat rookie QB Anthony Richardson’s Colts 31-21, the game was much more complicated than the scoreboard indicates, resolving the game only up to six minutes before the fourth quarter expired. Since then they have not known victory: a Sunday later they were defeated by Kansas City and, although it was expected, the manner is scary since they did not score a single touchdown; Lawrence looked bad that time with 22 of 41 completions for 216 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT.
Thus, everything gives way to Week 3. The AFC South? They have what on paper is a very weak rival: the Texans of rookie QB CJ Stroud, but the Houston team beat Jacksonville and won decisively 37-17, marking their superiority in every facet of the field and exhibiting the reality of the Jaguars: their last year was just a fairy tale, the new division quarterbacks are ready to do battle, and Lawrence and company could quickly find themselves at the bottom of this division.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Is Jacksonville the worst team in the AFC South?
The Colts (2-1) are early leaders in the AFC South and have left a good taste in their mouths: in Week 1 they let a victory slip away in the fourth quarter against the Jaguars, but later beat the Texans, fulfilling what was planned, and in Week 3 they took away the Ravens’ undefeated record. In other words, whether with QB Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew, they look competitive, especially since RB Zack Moss has surprised more than one; Be careful with Indianapolis.
In second position, by tiebreaker criteria, are the Texans (1-2), who failed to get their hands on the Ravens and Jaguars in the first two weeks of the championship, but have already shown that they are capable of causing surprises. Additionally, CJ Stroud has had a phenomenal start to his career: 78 of 121 completions for 906 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs; In and of itself he deserves a more detailed article. For now, it goes without saying that they are in very good hands heading into the future.
With two losses in a row, and contrary to expectations, the Jaguars (1-2) are in third place. Losing to the Chiefs seems normal, but the way they did it left a bad taste in the mouth, and even worse was their performance last week at home against Houston. Thus, in Jacksonville they must put their feet back on the ground: their divisional rivals will not let their setbacks pass and they could quickly establish themselves as the worst team in the AFC South if they do not get their act together correctly.
In last position are the Titans (1-2) also by tiebreaker criteria: another team that seemed like it would fight for the division lead, and for now QB Ryan Tannehill insists on being a handbrake; The era of QB Will Levis is approaching and may surprise like his counterparts in Houston and Indianapolis. So far, their only victory was against the Chargers, but when they neutralize RB Derrick Henry, as the Browns did, Tennessee always fails; A quarterback change is urgently needed to be competitive.
What do you truly aspire to in 2023?
Jacksonville has not looked like the American Conference contender that many fans expected and the rest of its calendar does not leave them free to compose their image with simplicity: rivals of the caliber of the Bills, 49ers, Bengals, Browns and Ravens will be stones on the road to regain respect within the AFC’s elite teams. For now, next week they face Atlanta at Wembley, and it will be a great game to see where both teams are at.
Thus, a new defeat for Jacksonville would then be a reason to set off alarm bells due to the proximity that exists within the AFC South. However, momentarily we will give them the benefit of the doubt: they are still the division favorites and their game against the Texans was nothing more than a slip that will help them wake up and become the same as they were at the end of last season. Although, of course, Texans, Colts and Titans fans hope otherwise.
Are the Jaguars the worst team in the AFC South? What do you really aspire to in 2023? We read you in the comments below this article and on our social networks.
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