By Eric Ronnebeck
I feel somewhat rude writing this column every week. I root for a team that, at this point in time, has a pretty wide open Super Bowl window and consistently makes the playoffs. I have friends in other cities who enjoy this column but that usually changes once their team gets a eulogy for the season. After that, their joy for football takes a backseat and instead of looking forward to the playoffs, they look forward to the NFL off season. There are some fans in Florida that may choose to look forward to the NFL off season starting now. (Having said that: sorry for this week, Chris)
Jacksonville Jaguars: (0-3)
Out of all the teams you would expect to see in this column, the Jaguars are the team that I had hoped would rise above their history and make strides towards respectability. Yes, their head coach, Gus Bradley, is a former defensive coordinator of the Seahawks and really that’s enough for me. I like Gus Bradley. He helped my beloved Seahawks win a Super Bowl. However, a head coach should have his philosophy imprinted on his team within the first year of coaching that team and this is Gus Bradley’s fourth year as head coach of the Jaguars. I would be surprised to see Gus Bradley as head coach in Jacksonville at the end of this season. Now it’s not fair to pin all the blame on him. General manager David Caldwell is responsible for building this team and he hasn’t built it to win. On offense, here’s no consistent running game because they don’t have the talent at running back or the offensive line and quarterback Blake Bortles has all the interceptions a team wouldn’t want. There is a stellar receiving corps in Jacksonville, too! Accuracy in the passing game would greatly benefit the offense of the Jaguars but instead they get this awesome stat: The Jaguars are 0-8 when Blake Bortles throws for over 300 yards. That means that Blake Bortles doesn’t usually throw for a lot of yards but when he does, he does it during garbage time when his team has already lost. That’s a tough reality to come to grips with. Adding to that the Jaguars have only won twelve games in the last three plus seasons. Those wins have come against teams such as the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, and teams dealing with big injuries (last year’s Baltimore Ravens). Looking at all of this, it’s no wonder that the Jaguars season is over, as may be the tenure of Gus Bradley as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This time next week, we’ll be a quarter of the way through the NFL season. Really?! That seems pretty fast. Regardless, look for teams in a certain AFC division on the right side of the map to make it into this column.