While the summer season brings much enjoyment to the average person, for an NFL fan, it represents a desolate wasteland where Sundays just aren't quite as vibrant as in the autumn months. However, with each passing day, we inch closer to the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, which officially kicks off on September 8 this year.
Whether you've had your favorite team's tweet notifications turned on all summer or if you've decided to tune out all football news entirely, you'll be able to learn everything you need to know about your team going into the 2022-23 season right here.
In today's article, I'll be discussing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I'm working on season guidebooks for all 32 NFL teams, which will all be released within the next few weeks. To check out another team's guidebook, click here:
2021 Season Recap
2021 was a very eventful season for Jacksonville, but not really for anything that happened on the field. The year was headlined more for the off-the-field antics of former head coach Urban Meyer, who was ultimately fired in week 15 of the season.
From a performance standpoint, the Jaguars were consistently one of the worst teams in the league across the board. They had some glimpses of shining moments, but they were few and far between. The regular season did end on a high note when they prevented their division rival from making the playoffs, but at 3-14 on the year, the only thing they truly won was the first overall pick in the draft. Part of their futility could definitely be attributed to a lack of leadership, but there will be much more than that aspect they'll need to correct in 2022.
Significant Roster Moves
A poor season followed by coaching changes typically creates heavy personnel rotation, and that certainly happened with the Jags this offseason. The team hired Doug Pederson as head coach, and he'll have the chore of revitalizing the culture in Jacksonville.
D.J. Chark, Carlos Hyde, and James O'Shaugnessy highlight the significant losses to the offense, while linebackers Myles Jack and Damien Wilson are key departures to the defense. The Jaguars did a good job of bringing in some additional weapons for Trevor Lawrence, signing receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk and TE Evan Engram to fill the void.
2022 Draft Class
With the first pick of the draft, the Jaguars took DE Travon Walker out of Georgia, an athletic, physical pass rusher who will fit in nicely as an outside linebacker in Jacksonville's 3-4 scheme. With their other six selections, the Jags focused more on defense, taking two linebackers and two corners to go along with an offensive lineman and a running back. Due to the lack of depth at many positions, several guys taken in this year's will draft will contribute immediately in 2022.
The Jaguars will take on the AFC West and the NFC East to go along with their six divisional games. Their other three opponents are the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets. With an opponent prior season win percentage of .469, Jacksonville has the 7th easiest schedule in the NFL.
Jacksonville's lone primetime game is a one Thursday night game at the New York Jets.
Jacksonville returns 13 of their 22 offensive and defensive starters from a season ago, which is below average among all teams in the league. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for a team that was as bad as the Jags were last season. With their assumed franchise quarterback in place, the Jaguars will have some new faces around him to make things work better this time around.
The Jaguars hired Doug Pederson to become the organization's seventh head coach. He then hired three new coordinators to replace Urban Meyer's staff, meaning the head coach and all coordinators are each in their first season with Jacksonville.
Oddsmakers have set the regular season win total for Jacksonville at 6.5 games. As of right now, the Jaguars are the second least likely team to win the AFC South and the third least likely team to win the AFC. At +13000 to win the 2023 Super Bowl, they are tied for 24th among all teams in the league.
Bucket Squad Predictions
As much as I think the new coaching staff will help the Jaguars, I still have very low expectations for them. Going through their schedule, it was hard for me to find many games that I think they might win. Therefore, I'm predicting Jacksonville to go 3-14 in 2022. However, I do think they will be better than the Houston Texans, meaning I expect them to finish third in their division. Maybe a bit of a consolation prize for Jags fans, but moral victories are more common than actual victories around the city of Jacksonville.
What do you think? Will Jacksonville be better or worse than I'm projecting? What offseason moves made by the Jaguars surprised you the most? Leave a comment down below and be sure to check the "NFL" section of the website for more NFL team guidebooks as I finish them.
Written by Nick Swatson
Expert Nick Swatson discusses all the news, predictions, and outcomes surrounding the NFL.