The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2016 season with its highest expectations in nearly a decade. An organization that hasn’t finished with a winning record since 2007 was expected to put together its strongest campaign in years. Once again though, the team stumbled out the gate, and through the first five games of the year, hasn’t begun to live up to the expectations just yet.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost. In fact, despite currently being under .500, the Jaguars still have everything to play for in a competitive, but relatively weak, division.
The question that remains unanswered still lingers though: Is this year’s edition of the Jacksonville Jaguars finally different from previous seasons?
After starting the season 0-3, it seemed like this could be a case of the same ol’ Jaguars. Head Coach Gus Bradley’s seat was already hot coming in to this season, and he certainly didn’t help his own case with the slow start. But in week four, the team came home from their annual trip to London with a victory over divisional foe Indianapolis, and this past Sunday, erased a 13-0 fourth quarter deficit to Chicago in Soldier Field and won 17-16 on a touchdown pass in the final minutes.
Now obviously neither Indianapolis or Chicago are great football teams this year, and neither game was a great performance by the Jags. But what I did see from the two victories is a team that showed some fight. But can they keep that fight up for an entire season?
The Jaguars trail the Texans by just a game and a half in the AFC South, and still have five games against division opponents. Jacksonville still very much controls their own path to success, if they are willing to take it.
We know the team has to improve in areas if it is going to compete. The offense has struggled thus far and it starts with the quarterback.
Blake Bortles’ mechanics have regressed back to his rookie season. His windup and delivery is back to being lower and longer, and that is cause for concern. He is also turning the ball over at a crucial rate. Bortles has thrown seven interceptions and lost two fumbles already this season. He needs to refine his mechanics and protect the football if the team is going to make a run.
The running game needs to also get going if the team wants to have success. Jacksonville ranks 31st in rushing, and will need to get T.J Yeldon and Chris Ivory going to alleviate pressure on Bortles and the passing game.
The defense has played well this season, and actually put the team in position to have two more wins at this point. Rookies Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue have shined to this point. After a sub-par effort covering Alshon Jeffery in the first half in Sunday’s game against the Bears, Ramsey stepped up his play in a huge way in the second half, and made the game clinching pass break-up against Jeffery on 4th down. Going forward in the season, the pass rush will need to be more consistent at applying pressure to the quarterback.
Does the team still have holes that need fixing? Absolutely. But after two straight wins, both away from home, the Jaguars have momentum, and have put themselves back in the thick of things in the AFC South. The next challenge comes at home on Sunday, when Jack Del Rio returns to Jacksonville with his Oakland Raiders.
Let’s see if Gus Bradley can light a fire under his team, and extinguish the one under his seat.
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan Says Team Not Planning to Trade Jalen Ramsey
Despite his demands and latest absence from the team, the Jacksonville Jaguars have no plans to trade All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, according to the Associated Press’ Mark Long.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan made it clear that trading Ramsey is not in the team’s plans, despite Ramsey’s desire to go elsewhere.
Ramsey formally requested a trade after the Jaguars Week 2 game.
“Obviously, football is a team sport and I’m sensitive to what individual insight or viewpoint or requests (there) might be” Khan said.
“But we have to do the right thing for the team. We value the values Jalen adds to us, to the Jaguars. I think we value him highly. We’re still looking at what is the right thing for the Jaguars, and I think right now the best thing is to have him be part of the team.”
While the Jaguars may not be willing to trade Ramsey, it hasn’t stopped teams from making offers.
“Obviously, we’re turning the season around and I think he can help the team,” Khan said.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the Jaguars rejected a deal consisting of two first-round draft picks.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, Khan is considered to be a major hurdle for any deal as he prefers to keep Ramsey and ink him to a long-term contract as opposed to trading him away.
The Jaguars may not be figuring out a trade of Ramsey, but they sure need to figure out how to get the star corner back on the field.
Long term deals, lucrative contracts, signing bonuses. Even NFL teams need to balance their books, but a solid town, village or municipality can’t do that without solid fund accounting software that makes life easier. For too long, people have relied on fund accounting that just doesn’t excel. It’s time you turn the page to something better.
Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey Requests Trade
The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t a team superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey wants to play with anymore.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Ramsey’s agent, David Mulugheta says that he has asked the Jaguars to trade the disgruntled Ramsey, and the team has had talks with teams and are asking for at least one first-round pick but would like more than that in return for the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback.
There are rumblings that a trade could happen as early as this week, citing the damage to the relationship between Ramsey and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone who got into a very animated argument on the sidelines during Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.
Sunday’s argument wasn’t the first incident involving Ramsey. He expressed his frustration with his role in the defense back in 2016, when he was a rookie, alongside teammates Tashaun Gipson and Davon House, with Ramsey advocating for a clean sweep of the defensive coaching staff.
Ramsey also criticized the defensive play calling during the fourth quarter of the 2017 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
Ramsey has also said that he would not be giving the Jaguars a hometown discount in contract discussions, and even showed up to training camp in a Brinks truck.
Ramsey’s antics and attitude have boiled over in Jacksonville, and it is now time for the two sides to part ways.
Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Slams Colts’ Fans for Booing Andrew Luck
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is speaking out against the fans who booed former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, following the stunning news of his retirement over the weekend.
“I thought it was pretty disgusting,” Rodgers said, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
“He’s making a really tough decision and then before that, he makes the decision, I don’t know why that doesn’t stay in house to kind of protect him a little bit. Although when I think about it, I thought it would’ve been more of a standing-ovation type thing and a thank you than boos.”
While Rodgers says he is a long way away from his own retirement, he respects Luck’s decision to call it a career, calling it “very selfless, not selfish.”
“I, 100 percent, respect him immensely for his decision” Rodgers said.
“I salute him for choosing quality of life. He’s a fantastic player, he had a great career and he’s got a lot to be proud of. Like many of us in this locker room, if not all of us, we all have interests outside of football. Andrew is an extremely bright guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of things to transition into. I know what it’s like to deal with rehab and going through injuries. I’ve been on IR twice. It’s tough. He was on it pretty much for an entire season and next offseason trying to get his arm back. Again, in my opinion, not playing with him but just reading what his teammates said, tough guy. What he went through to get himself back on the field is what it means to be a leader and I’m excited for him.”
“I’m sure when you’re going through stuff where you’re not sure if you’re ever going to play again — like Andrew did, like (Washington Redskins quarterback) Alex Smith might be dealing with right now — I’m sure there’s some tough days because, at some point, you start thinking about your post-career life and ability to move and functions,” Rodgers said. “A lot of guys over the years have had to end their years because of injuries. Two of my favorite quarterbacks growing up, Steve Young and Troy Aikman, those are tough decision but I think they’re decisions in the interest of your life at 40 and 50 and 60 hopefully. Again, I give him a lot of credit for making that tough decision, and I think he did it with enough time and lets them move forward with Jacoby [Brissett] and figure out what they want to do with their roster.”
Rodgers has also spoken about his thoughts about his post-career health, after suffering three known concussions already during his NFL career.
“Of course, of course,” Rodgers said. “Anytime you’ve had a concussion or a couple of concussions, the following days you’re always thinking about what it’s going to be like, but I think with medicine the way it is and research the way it is, there’s going to be more and more things that can help guys down the line to feel better, hopefully. And hopefully, we can do our job in the [NFL Players Association] and continue to take care of former players.”
While Colts’ fans may be angry at Luck, Rodgers is showing him nothing but support and respect for making the tough decision.
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