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NFL Sneak Peak – The Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Football Futures Betting – 2009 NFL PreSeason Analysis – Jaguars Football Gambling

The Jacksonville Jaguars were sidetracked by injuries to the offensive line in the 2008 season, and still they got off to a 3-3 start. After the bye week, however, they faded, and fast. The Jags lost eight of their last ten games finishing 2-4 in the division and 5-11 overall for the season (4-12 ATS).

Let’s take a look at the numbers:.

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So is there a light at the end of this very long tunnel?

This caused an awful lot of anxiety for coach Jack Del Rio and the Jacksonville management, which got precious little out of the pass rushing tandem they drafted and experienced a more error-plagued season from quarterback David Garrard.

Will Del Rio be able to turn things around in J-Ville?

Odds To Win AFC South

Indianapolis Colts +155
Tennessee Titans +240
Houston Texans +325
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +400

To Win Super Bowl: +3200
To Win AFC title: +1500
To Reach Conference title game: +750
Regular Season Wins: Over 8 -120, Under 8 -110

Before the start of the 2007 season, Jack Del Rio essentially put his job in the hands of David Garrard, having let former #1 draft choice Byron Leftwich go before the season’s start. Garrard responded by playing solid football, throwing only three interceptions in the regular season and guiding the Jaguars to the playoffs, not to mention a win at Heinz Field against the Steelers. In 2008 it was quite a different story. With his offensive line shaky at best, Garrard suffered 42 sacks, was knocked down more than any quarterback in the league and threw 13 picks. His passer rating went from 102.2 down to 81.7.

If nothing else, the Jags are expecting that they will have a healthier offensive line. It is also replenished, with Tra Thomas, who was with the Eagles last year, acquired as a free agent. The Jags also took offensive tackles with their first two picks. Eugene Monroe of Virginia, who some thought was as good a player as was available in the draft, was the first-round selection and could wind up starting on the right side, opposite Thomas, at least for this year. The second-round selection was Arizona’s Eben Britton, who will provide depth at the very least.

The running game will be missing a familiar face. Fred Taylor, who spent eleven years with the team, gaining 1000 or more yards seven times, was released, which pretty much makes this Maurice Jones-Drew’s show. The UCLA alum has averaged 4.8 yards per carry for his career, but he has never had to shoulder the full load, and there is some question that at 5’7″ and 208 pounds, he can prove durable enough to take a pounding as the one and only feature back. backup Chauncey Washington had nine rushing yards as a rookie, but he’ll see more action now, and seventh-round pick Rashard Jennings, a great player at Liberty, may work himself into the mix.

Wide receiver has often been a problem under the conservative Del Rio. When you look at Troy Williamson, Mike Walker and Dennis Northcutt, they do not scare anyone. As a stopgap measure, 33-year-old Torry Holt, a possible Hall of Famer who caught 64 passes for the Rams last season, was signed and the Jaguars are obviously hoping that someone will emerge from among the wideouts drafted. J They’re an interesting group – Mike Thomas of Arizona has great talent, but an attitude problem; Jarrett Dillard of Rice was super-productive and could be a real sleeper, and Tiquan Underwood of Rutgers was second banana opposite Kenny Britt but might catch on as a possession guy.

Jacksonville had long had the reputation of being a team that harassed opposing quarterbacks, but the Jags dropped way down two seasons ago, and were hoping to resurrect themselves by grabbing Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves on the first two rounds of last year’s draft. Harvey was the last first-round pick to sign and never really got untracked. Neither did Groves. The two combined for six sacks and need to improve greatly upon that figure this time around. John Henderson and Ron Meier are pretty solid as the defensive tackles, but they’re also getting along in years. Terrance Knighton, the third-rounder from Temple, is a guy they hope to work into the rotation at that position.

Mike Peterson, the team’s leading tackler in 2008, bolted for Atlanta as a free agent to join his former coordinator, Mike Smith. That leaves the Jags with good players like Daryl Smith and Justin Durant at linebacker, but little depth there. Things may or may not be improved in the secondary, but they’ll have to be, as in terms of average gain per pass play, Jacksonville ranked 30th out of the 32 NFL teams. You have to be impressed by the athleticism of Rashean Mathis at one corner position, and there is the possibility that another big-time athlete, rookie Derek Cox from William & Mary, might wind up on the other side.

Jacksonville may have more competition in the AFC South than in any other division, especially since after a couple of 8-8 seasons, the Houston Texans are expected to be better. It may be hard to reach .500 against division rivals. The Jaguars are still not an explosive bunch, and should have tried to build more of a “committee” at running back. There are a lot of things that have to happen on defense to make this a better season. This could be an 8-8 team, but may fall a little short, enough for us to favor the “under” in the BetUS regular season wins prop.

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Comments

Comments

  1. Matt Martz says:

    With a 5-11 record, the Jags are coming off a very disappointing 2008 campaign. There have been some losses of key players, as well as additions of players that are sure to make an impact in 2009. QB David Garrard will get the start and should have a better season. With a make shift offensive line, and an ineffective running game, Garrard was on the run much of 2008, which also made him very ineffective. The release of veteran RB Fred Taylor leaves Maurice Jones-Drew as the primary back. With an improved offensive line and a threat in newly acquired WR Torry Holt, the offense should be improved this year. The defense will not be as dreadful as a year ago, but they will need standout performances from Justin Durant as well as Daryl Smith, and safety sensation Reggie Nelson. The Jags will finish at the bottom of the division at 5-11 for the second straight year.

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