Jacksonville Jaguars Last Season’s Performance
For the second year running, the Jacksonville Jaguars ended their season with the worst record in the NFL, ending up with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. It’s hard to say anything went right in the 2021 season, as everything that could go wrong went wrong.
After hiring college coach Urban Meyer from his media job to coach his first NFL team, his tenure came to a “grinding” halt after 13 games. He was swiftly “kicked” out of the organization after making mistakes on and off the field. Meyer created a dysfunctional environment that only made the play on the field look worse.
The team somehow managed three wins against the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17, eliminating them from the playoffs in embarrassing fashion. The defense had some moments in those victories but allowed 50 points in Week 18. First overall pick Trevor Lawrence was put in a challenging situation, with little talent around him. The offense scored more than 20 points the same amount of times as they scored 10 or fewer points, five times.
Jacksonville Jaguars Key Additions
After the last few seasons cutting down on spending, this offseason, the Jaguars had the most money to spend in free agency, and they went out and spent. New head coach Doug Pederson took the opportunity to quickly mold the team in his image, handing out $175.3 million in guaranteed money. The plan was to sign underutilized players and offer them a more significant role with more money to overlook the overall dysfunction.
Wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones signed pretty large contracts to make an immediate upgrade at receiver. Tight end Evan Engram looks to revitalize his career as a primary receiving weapon at his position. Brandon Scherff was signed at guard to add veteran leadership and talent to an offensive line that struggled.
Defensive linemen Foley Fatukasi and Arden Key brought some much-needed talent and depth. Foye Oluokun brings a stable presence to the middle of the linebacking core, with 178 tackles last season. Finally, Darius Williams will be the missing link in the secondary at nickel corner.
In the draft, they also added three automatic starters to the team. First overall pick star edge Travon Walker is a freak of an athlete, while another first-round pick Devin Lloyd at linebacker, fits a hole in the team. Center Luke Fortner will come in and be an immediate starter in another position of need.
Jacksonville Jaguars Key Subtraction
With many players still on rookie deals, the Jaguars did not sustain the usual amount of losses a struggling team goes through. They had also been in the process of letting players go over the last two years.
Still, the defense took two massive hits to their linebacker core when Myles Jack and Damien Wilson left in free agency. The pair led the team in tackles, combining form 214 from the middle of the defense.
On offense, wide receiver D.J. Chark and tight end James O’Shaughnessy, who both dealt with injuries last season, decided to leave. They were talented enough to have made a much larger impact if both were healthy last season. Guard Andrew Norwell also chose to go after starting 17 games last season and being one of the solid pieces on the offensive line. Also, an eight-year starter on the Jaguars offensive line, Brandon Linder, called it a career and retired.
Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Analysis
Meyer had one of the most dysfunctional and embarrassing tenures as a head coach that most NFL fans could not take their eyes off.
After a tough loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, he stayed back to spend time with his family in Ohio instead of traveling with the team home. Video then surfaced of him dancing in a bar with a woman who was not his wife. The rumors of him possibly being started immediately. After he was fired, a story broke that he kicked and yelled at former kicker Josh Lambo who was cut during the season. All this off-field drama alone could have got him fired, plus his 2-11 record probably did not help.
With Pederson in charge, who won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, there’s at least hope a competent head coach will be in control. In the five years Pederson was in Philadelphia, and the team made the playoffs three straight years.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
In 2021 the Jaguars’ injury report was not that extensive, leading them to head into the 2022 season relatively healthy. A foot injury to first-round running back Travis Etienne forced him to miss the entire season, but after a lengthy recovery seems in line to be the team’s starter at that position.
Rayshawn Jenkins started 14 games at safety last season and quickly became one of the team’s leaders on defense. He missed the final three games of the season due to a broken ankle but is not on the injury list at the start of the 2022 season. Last year’s leading rusher James Robinson tore his Achilles, missing the final two games, but is listed as questionable.
Any other notable injured players from last season left in the offseason, leaving only Jordan Smith on the IR, who appeared in just two games last year for one tackle.
Jacksonville Jaguars Offense
The Jaguars have tried to do anything they can to make Lawrence’s sophomore season easier than his rookie year. With so many changes happening on the offensive side, you can’t compare it to 2021, which is a good thing.
Pederson and first-year offensive coordinator Press Taylor are immediate upgrades and have already worked together in Philadelphia. The offense should be much more creative and free now that Meyer is gone. It also helps that Lawrence will have four new weapons he didn’t have last year, with receivers in free agency and Etienne set to be healthy.
The offensive line is still not going to turn heads but signing Scherff and re-signing Cam Robinson is at least headed in the right direction. It is young, but the talent is at least there.
In 2022 the offense will be a lot better than last year with all the player turnover and better coaching. After a tough rookie season, Lawrence may actually have a chance to show why he was the first overall pick in 2021.
Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
The defense hasn’t experienced the same overhaul as the Jaguars’ offense. One reason may be that it was the better of the two. While most of the offensive stats were right in line with a team with the worst record in the NFL, the defense was at least a little better than that.
Shaquill Griffin and rookie Tyson Campbell showed promise as a corner duo, and with the addition of Williams as the nickel, the secondary looks well rounded. Oluokun and first-round pick Lloyd make up a whole new linebacker duo, but are talented enough to make an impact right away.
Josh Allen, who started to look more like his rookie Pro-Bowl year, led the team with 7.5 sacks. Pairing Allen with another fantastic athlete in the first overall pick, Walker could quickly become an exciting young duo.
The defense went through minor changes, upgrading in positions of need, while also adding some depth to the roster.
Jacksonville Jaguars Special Teams
After Lambo was cut after three games and struggling after having his head coach kick him. Matthew Wright took over, making 87.5% of his field goals, but the Jaguars took third-fewest field goals at just 27 all season. Going into 2022, the Jaguars have elected to go with a new kicker, Ryan Santoso, who is a career 80% on just five field goals. The starting kicker position will likely be an open contest.
Punter Logan Cooke will be back for his five year with the Jaguars after missing the last two games due to injury. As a team, the Jaguars only punted 71 times, for the ninth most in the NFL.
Wide receiver Jamal Agnew led the team in both punts and kickoff returns, taking one kickoff back for a touchdown. Still, with the Jaguars, he will likely be the primary return man again in 2022.
Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction for the 2022 Season
Headed into the 2022 season, the Jaguars are in a much better situation than they have been in the last two years. The roster on paper looks a lot better, and their younger players now have some experience and better coaching. Whether that results in wins this season is still unclear.
The Jaguars have the opportunity to play against the Houston Texans twice and the New York Giants, both teams with minimal expectations for success coming into the season. Those will likely be their best chances to win, even though last season, their wins came against teams that were much better than them.
No team in NFL drafts history has ever had three straight first overall sections, and the Jaguars do not want to be the first. They did make the necessary upgrades to improve, but when you look at the other teams that drafted early last season, they also improved. Still this roster is good enough to at least get four wins.
Jacksonville Jaguars Final Thoughts
If the Jaguars could have a better season than last year, that would probably be seen as a success within the organization. That is not a high bar for a team that went 3-14, but it makes sense based on the circumstances of only winning four games the last two years.
Pederson was brought in to stabilize the team, and the added talent on the roster will help. Now all they have to do is put it together and avoid being the first-ever NFL team to pick first overall in three straight years.
The roster is still missing a lot, to have any real success, but this team is still in the middle of a rebuild. To at least start to see the vision of the future, and the possibilities of a decent team is what matters.
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Jacksonville Jaguars FAQs
Why can't the Jacksonville Jaguars make it to the Super Bowl?
The Jaguars have yet to play in the Super Bowl, getting close in 1996, 1999, and 2017, losing in the AFC Championship game each year. The team had its inaugural season in 1995, with a short history, spending most of that time with a losing record, only making the playoffs three times since 2000.
Are the Lions or Jaguars a More Embarrassing NFL Franchise?
In NFL history, Detroit Lions are one of five teams to finish a season having never won a game, doing so in 2008, while at least the Jaguars won one game in 2020. Lions fans at least have the history of the team to fall back on, that the Jaguars do not have. On top of that, the 2021 Lions showed more improvement throughout the season than the Jaguars, while the Jaguars went into almost a free fall.
Why does Florida have three NFL teams?
Football is one of the most watched sports in the United States of America and is extremely popular in Florida. The weather also allows football to be played year-round with no real issues, like some States that might have to deal with snow.
Has every NFL team played on Thanksgiving Day?
The Jaguars are the only NFL team to have never played on Thanksgiving Day. Often the most popular NFL teams play on Thanksgiving. Due to the Jaguars lack of success, they are not seen as a very popular team.