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Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

Indianapolis Colts Betting Odds – NFL Football Futures

The Jacksonville Jaguars hung around in the playoff race for a few months last year before finally petering out.

The Jags are hoping they can get over the hump this season, but there could be distractions with a rookie quarterback waiting in the wings.

A look at the numbers:

Last season – 8-8
Projection this season – 6-10
Jaguars Super Bowl XLVI Odds – +6000
Jaguars 2011-12 AFC Odds – +3000
2011 Jaguars AFC South Lines – +800

Quarterback David Garrard was rewarded with a big contract a few years ago, but management is clearly dissatisfied with his performance, as it selected Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in the draft. Jacksonville traded up six picks to grab the Missouri product, so it’s clear it wanted him badly. For now, though, the job belongs to Garrard.

The veteran posted solid numbers in 2010 (23 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 64.5 percent completions), but he’s hardly lived up to the money he’s making.

Instead, the offense relies on Maruice Jones-Drew to carry the load. “MJD” racked up 1324 rush yards and added another 317 yards through the air, but he took a ton of punishment as opposing defenses knew he was the Jags’ only legitimate weapon. Jones-Drew needed offseason knee surgery, so it’s tough to say what kind of shape he’ll be in coming into 2011.

Needless to say, it won’t be surprising if he’s lost a step.

Whether it’s Garrard or Gabbert under center, neither will have a particularly impressive group of targets to work with. Mike Thomas emerged as the No. 1 receiver, catching 66 passes for 820 yards and four scores. Thomas stole the job from Mike Sims-Walker, who has since fled via free agency. The real surprise was Mercedes Lewis, who exploded for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Lewis had been somewhat of a disappointing since getting drafted in the first round in 2006—he scored just seven touchdowns in his first four years in the NFL—but if he can keep up that kind of production, Jacksonville has an nice little weapon on its hands. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

On the other side of the football, Jacksonville is a bit of a disaster. The Jags ranked just 28th in points allowed last season, giving up 26.2 points per outing. The pass defense in particular was a nightmare. The Jags allowed 250 yards per game through the air, not to mention a league-worst 8.3 yards per attempt and fourth-worst 65.0 percent completion percentage. Jacksonville is simply hurting for big plays and playmakers.

The “D” came up with just 13 interceptions and 26 sacks (tied for second-worst in the NFL).

Little has been done to address the problem. Linebackers Paul Posluzny and Clint Session were brought in via free agency. Both are solid players, but neither is a pass-rushing specialist. The Jags don’t need anymore “solid if unspectacular” types, and both Posluzny and Session fit that bill perfectly.

At least the club moved on from defensive end and former first-round pick Derrick Harvey, who became one of the biggest busts in franchise history. Harvey, who was released in the offseason, netted just eight sacks in 47 games.

Aaron Kampman returns on the d-line after suffering his second ACL tear in two years, so counting on him for any sort of meaningful contributions is a fool’s errand.

HOW IT STANDS NOW:

The Jags were competitive, but not competitive enough last season. With the pass rush still terribly lacking and Jones-Drew coming off some serious wear-and-tear, chances are the club will be turning to quarterback-of-the-future Blaine Gabbert sooner than later.

Season Win total Prediction: 6-10

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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