No one would be surprised to hear that the Jacksonville Jaguars face impossible Super Bowls odds at a frightening 200/1 heading into 2013. But then again, those might just be the dream odds for a die hard Jaguars fan to give a go at.
While those odds would surely make you quite the winner on even the smallest bet, it’s beyond logical to assume the Jaguars won’t be able to make it to the NFL’s final game of the year. In fact, Jacksonville is a near-guarantee to be watching this year’s playoffs from the couch.
With that said, the Jaguars seem to at least be headed in the right direction. Star running back Maurice Jones-Drew missed the majority of last season with a foot injury after holding out, but is expected to be back and at 100% before the season starts. With MJD hopefully regaining form and rookie tackle Luke Joeckel helping to improve the offensive line, Jacksonville could have a chance at putting together a productive rushing attack.
To find any kind of success on offense in 2013, however, the Jaguars will need major improvement under center. Blaine Gabbert enters his third season in the league, and will battle the likes of Chad Henne and Matt Scott for the starting job. If Gabbert is to assume his expected role as the franchise quarterback, he’ll have to stay healthy, improve his accuracy, and find a way to stand tall in the pocket.
As much as it seems that this team will only go as far as Gabbert can take them, a lot will also be riding on a hopefully progressing defense. New head coach Gus Bradley brings a tough, aggressive defensive mind-set, and could push for a major leap with rookie safety Jonathan Cyprien anchoring the secondary. However, without a more consistent pass-rush, the Jaguars could be dead in the water on defense.
Ultimately, this Jaguars team just lacks good talent and really only has one superstar player to hang their hat on in MJD. If the Jaguars have any kind of a chance at shocking the world, it will take a quantum leap from Gabbert and much more consistency across the board on both sides of the ball.
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