Jaguars are set to be a force in AFC South for 2023 and beyond

The Jacksonville Jaguars look like candidates in the blink of an eye.

After a 2-1 start with a 20-plus win streak under new coach Doug Pederson, it’s easy to buy and treat them as a rising team. But then the jaguar started to lose. In the context of their inability to complete the game, they are labeled as “the same old games.” Other familiar realities in AFC South – the Titan looks like the best team; the Colts disappointing after another season full of hype – also beginning to take shape. Tennessee is on a fast track to a third-place championship in a row, with a 5-3 record that includes a 3-0 record in the AFC South, including a sweep Indianapolis.

But while the Titans still control a weak AFC South for 2022, Jaguar is positioned as their main challenger for years to come. Longer than the guest we saw in September. Why? Jacksonville has the most promising offensive talent to build for 2023 and beyond.

In the Jaguars great comeback victory before Raidersas they continue to run 27-3 after a 17-0 deficit to beat Las Vegas and capture their five-game slide, once again we got a glimpse of what Trevor Lawrence maybe when he put it all together.

At one point in the second half, he made 12 straight passes. He went 11-19 in 111 yards and hit the throws in less than 2.5 seconds in a split second, according to Next Gen Stats. He is 4/6 in third down passes, with four finishes securing first knockdowns. For the game, he completed 80.6% of his passes in the 235 meters and a touchdown with no interception. He is the only quarterback this season to have completed at least 80% of his passes in at least three games.

Lawrence has been inconsistent all season – and his biggest challenge so far will be shifting momentum from the Raiders game to matches with competitive AFC Chief and Ravens in head-to-head matches – but he’s the closest to a franchise midfielder in the AFC South. Ryan Tannehill has been solid for the Titans, but his days are numbered – it looks like he won’t be in Nashville after 2023, when his contract expires – and Malik Willis more profitable and potentially more than a definite start at this point.

The TexansDavis Mills is a quarter of midfield starting below averageand Houston could draft his replacement in 2023. The Colts are arguably the worst quarterback in the league, without a clear warm-up for the rest of this season, and have problems. concerned that they might not be bad enough to get one of the top signal callers in the upcoming draft.

And in a division filled with running stars who serve as crime engines, Jaguars’ Travis Etienne has one of the most promising long-term prospects.

Derrick Henry, King, is the best of the bunch, but at 28, he’s closer to the end of his career than he started. The Colts’ Jonathan Taylor was an All-Pro force as a second-year professional last season, but a nasty ankle injury – and lousy attacking play – made him less attractive this season. this and potentially beyond.

At least for now, Texans’ Dameon Piercefrontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, the only one to return to the tournament on a similar track with Etienne for a long time.

“I wouldn’t say he’s anywhere close to where he’s going,” Jaguars coordinator Press Taylor said of Etienne last week. “As he continues to learn what the defense is doing, why we call runs for certain fronts, the runs, how people try to get us going, combinations and pulls and different things like that. I think as he matures, just with his football knowledge and understanding the offenses with the plots and the way we are trying to attack, I won’t put a ceiling on him.

There is no question that Calvin Ridley The project becomes the best #1 receiver in its segment for 2023 and beyond. Giants no real WR1 (However Treylon Burks may eventually evolve into one). Michael Pittman Jr. was good but not great for the Colts. Brandin Cooks‘The future with the Texan is unclear, after he reportedly wanted to leave Houston ahead of the trade deadline.

Nick reacts to Jaguars trading for suspended Falcons WR Calvin Ridley

Nick Wright reacts to the Jaguars’ acquisition of Calvin Ridley from the Falcons in one of the most shocking moves of the NFL deal deadline.

Of course, Ridley has to be rehabilitated (he can’t petition to do so until February) and assuming that happens, he’ll have to have the rust removed, as he hasn’t played since. from week 6 of the 2021 season. But with prolific strength, he is a great line runner and one of football’s elite collectors. He had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. No player on any other AFC South team has eclipsed 1,300 yards in a single season.

In every season Ridley has played at least 13 games, he has had at least seven touchdowns.

“He’s a great player, so obviously it’s exciting going forward and next season to have someone like that here,” Lawrence said of Ridley last week. “I heard he loves the game, and obviously if you watch his tapes, it speaks for itself.”

The jaguar also has the best pass guard attack line in the division. They have given up just 12 layoffs this season, are second in the NFL and have an adjusted sack rate of 4.8%, the 4th best in the league. Four of their five warm-ups – the ball Cam Robinsonright guard Tyler Shatleycenter Luke Fortner and right guard Brndon Scherff – still under contract until at least 2023.

If Jacksonville re-signed the right to handle Jawaan Taylor, who will be an unrestricted freelance agent this holiday season, that’s going to be huge. Of the 32 attacking tackles that have played at least 300 tackles this season, Taylor has overlooked the third least pressure (7), according to Pro Football Focus.

Titan may be on the verge of revenue this season, with many key veterans coming and franchises having contracts with them. But as long as coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson are with the Titans, the team will be successful. It had six consecutive winning seasons. Vrabel, the current AP Coach of the Year, has a track record of maximizing player performance, regardless of the quality of talent he’s working with. They will not disappear in the AFC South.

In the years to come, however, Jaguar will knock on the door.

Ben Arthur is an AFC South correspondent for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the writer who beat the Titans for a year and a half. He joined the Seattle Seahawks for for three seasons (2018-20) before moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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