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NFL Power Rankings: Jaguars ranked among the best by national outlet

AtoZ Sports logo AtoZ Sports 4/2/2023 Mauricio Rodriguez
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are being put on a very different level heading into the 2023 NFL season even after a quiet free agency.

These are not your ol' Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year proved that in a different, more sustainable way than say, the 2017 season. The run that led to a surprising AFC Championship Game years ago was never made to last in the long term.

But this time around, the Jaguars have the pieces (well beyond Trevor Lawrence, by the way) to firmly stay in "contender" territory year to year. 

That's why Bo Wulf from The Athletic caught some people off guard by ranking the Jaguars fifth in his most recent power rankings

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Here's part of his breakdown:

You could make a case that Calvin Ridley’s activation from suspension is the most significant (finalized) roster addition of the offseason thus far. Jacksonville is coming off a season in which it finished No. 6 in passing DVOA as Trevor Lawrence took the leap in his second season, thanks in part to the utter competence of Doug Pederson post-Urban Meyer. 

To compete with the contenders of the NFL, you need an elite unit. Obviously, a balanced team helps but in reality an elite offense or defense gives you a chance against the best of teams. 

Led by Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars offense is exactly that. The quarterback has put himself on the map after a remarkable season in 2022 and is likely to take a big step forward this year, too. It'll be just his second year running Doug Pederson's offense. 

But are the Jaguars the fifth-best team in the entire NFL? 

Help from a mediocre division

Power Rankings try to measure more than just "Who's the best in the NFL?" They're all about which team has what it takes to advance all the way into the Super Bowl. The Jaguars hold a clear advantage in this area over many other AFC teams. 

They play in the AFC South, where there appears to be no intense enough competition. The Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Texans all seem to be in rebuild mode and have huge question marks at quarterback. 

Who knows if they'll be able to make a run for the division title against the Jaguars, who are in the best shape they've ever been. Literally speaking. Per Wulf, the Jaguars have the second-highest odds in the NFL to win their respective division. 

The lingering question is how they’ll fare without Jawaan Taylor at right tackle, but the Jaguars also have the benefit of playing in an otherwise decrepit division. Only the 49ers are listed as more likely division winners by current Vegas odds.

That inherently means they'll be playing one of the easiest schedules in the entire NFL. Based on projected win totals, the Jaguars are set to have the fifth-easiest schedule in 2023, per Sam Hoppen. 

When you factor in their schedule and odds to be division champions (thus earning a home playoff game), expect the Jaguars to be high in many power rankings from here until the NFL regular season. 

And even better yet, expect them to deliver on the hype. These Jaguars are different. Embrace it. 


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