At this time last year, little was expected from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Many around the NFL felt they had a promising young core, but it was thought it would take them a while to actually become competitive.
It ended up taking them just half a season.
Jacksonville started the 2022 season 2-6, but they won seven of their last nine games and ended up finishing first in the AFC South.
As a result, they have some pretty high expectations for the 2023 season, as their over/under for wins is 9.5, and they’re favored to go over that figure, per PFF Bet.
Do the Jags go over or under their win total this season? 🤔
— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) June 6, 2023
The biggest key to the Jaguars’ turnaround was quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who showed some real growth down the stretch.
As a rookie in 2021, he led the NFL with 17 interceptions while throwing just 12 touchdown passes, but he finished last season with 25 touchdown passes, 4,113 passing yards, and just eight interceptions.
His completion rate also improved from 59.6 percent in 2021 to a solid 66.3 percent in 2022.
In addition, running back Travis Etienne emerged with 1,125 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while wide receiver Christian Kirk had a career year.
This fall, Jacksonville will also enjoy the services of wide receiver Calvin Ridley, whom they traded for midway through last season.
Ridley was suspended for all of last season after violating the NFL’s gambling policy, and in 2021 he played in five games, as he stepped away due to a mental health challenge.
But in 2020, he tallied 1,374 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, and he should give the Jaguars a legitimate speed threat downfield this fall and winter.
They may not be ready to seriously contend for the Super Bowl, but they should make plenty of noise.NEXT: Doug Pederson Makes His Thoughts Clear About Trevor Lawrence