The 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars were not a very good team, as they finished with a 2-14 record; at the end of the season, the team cleaned house by firing general manager Gene Smith and head coach Mike Mularkey. Aside from the play of wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who was a pleasant surprise and great pickup for many fantasy football team owners, there really wasn’t much for the Jaguars to hang their hat on as something positive.
In the offseason, the team owner Shahid Khan went out and hired David Caldwell to be the team’s new general manager; Bradley went out and hired Gus Bradley, who was last with the Seattle Seahawks, as their defensive coordinator to come in and change the culture and turn things around for the Jaguars for 2013 and seasons beyond. It is clear that looking at the Jaguars and their 2013 schedule that there will be a chance for the team to show improvement, but at the same time they will go through growing pains.
The Jaguars start the season with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and follow that up with their first road game of the season as they visit another AFC West team in the Oakland Raiders. The Jaguars head to London for Week 8, as they play “host” to the San Francisco 49ers, and afterwards, are on a bye during Week 9. Looking at the second half of the 2013 schedule for the Jaguars, the Jaguars will play “winnable” games against the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills at home, while they close out the season by visiting AFC South division foe the Indianapolis Colts.
Predicting the final 2013 record for the Jaguars, I expected them to win more than two games, but I do not see them winning more than four games. A a result, my prediction is that they finish the 2013 season 4-12. The truth of the matter is, that while it is clear the Jaguars now have some identity with a new general manager and head coach, the overall team talent is just not there for the Jaguars to seriously challenge for a playoff spot.
The Jaguars will still “suffer” from having Blaine Gabbert as the team’s starting quarterback. As a result, it’s hard to expect to see much, if any, improvement from Gabbert, given that he has still not proven to be a viable NFL quarterback. That does not bode well for a rebuilding team looking to take the next step.