The Jaguars haven’t won more than five games in a season the past five seasons, but after years in the cellar, it looks like that’s finally about to change. Jacksonville might not be a trendy Super Bowl pick or even the favorite to win the AFC South, but they don’t appear to be pushovers either — and that in itself is a major step in the right direction.
As general manager Dave Caldwell tells Mike DiRocco for ESPN.com, he feels this Jaguars team led by third-year quarterback Blake Bortles and with an improving defense “can match up with virtually anybody” in the NFL. That’s a far cry from most of the past decade, when even Caldwell didn’t believe his club had a shot most Sundays.
“The previous years I felt like we had to be perfect just to be in to a game late into a game, where here we can overcome a bad play, a fumble, a backed-up situation, a deficit,” he said. “Offensively, we can score quickly and defensively, I think we can hold the fort down.
“… That’s the biggest thing: We have a chance.”
That’s probably not the mantra the Jaguars want to take into the season, although when you don’t post a winning record in eight straight years you probably just have to be realistic about these things. The truth is, there were a lot of Sundays those Jaguars teams didn’t have much of a shot unless everything broke just right.
That is no longer appears to be the case. The Jaguars look like a legit team, and while they may be a year or two away from emerging as serious contenders, they are a threat to every team in the league on any given Sunday. How can Caldwell not be excited about that after all of the long, painful rebuilding?