Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 Season Preview & Win Total Prediction 

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NFL Pick: 2023 Jacksonville Jaguars Over 9.5 Wins (-145) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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2023 Jacksonville Jaguars Over 9.5 Wins (-145)
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are more proof of how fast the NFL can move. After a 2-6 start, it looked like another wasted season for the Jaguars. But a comeback win over the Raiders and another one over Baltimore sparked a strong finish that led to a playoff win and a divisional round appearance in Kansas City. 

Now, the Jaguars look like the only AFC South team set at quarterback as the Texans, Colts, and Titans all spent a high draft pick on a rookie quarterback while the Colts and Texans also hired a rookie head coach.  

It was a successful debut season for head coach Doug Pederson, who corrected a lot of the mistakes Urban Meyer was making with Trevor Lawrence and this young team in 2021. Pederson looks to work his magic like he did in Philadelphia when he took the Eagles to a Super Bowl win in his 2nd season in 2017. 

The Jaguars have an over/under win total of 9.5 wins at the top-rated offshore sportsbooks and they are the favorites to repeat as AFC South division champions. Are they a lock to do so, or is there something to worry about this team after struggling in so many games last year? 

The Changes That Matter 

The Jaguars could be a team on the rise, but there are some valid concerns after a season that saw the team finish 10-9 (playoffs included) thanks to 3 of the biggest comebacks in franchise history. From Week 9 through the end of the year, the Jaguars had 5 games where they trailed by at least 17 points, tied with Seattle for the most in the league during that time.  

We need to see some faster starts from Jacksonville this year, but an old transaction could be the key to taking the next step. 

Enter Calvin Ridley 

Better than any draft pick or free-agent signing the team made this year, the Jaguars have a new No. 1 wideout in Calvin Ridley. They traded for him last November despite Ridley serving a year-long suspension for gambling on NFL games while he was with the Falcons. 

As far as off-field incidents go, this is near the bottom of the list on offenses to worry about, and Ridley surely had to learn his lesson the hard way and will not do it again. With his talent, he should be able to slide right into this offense and have a productive year. In his last full season with Atlanta, Ridley had 1,374 yards and 9 touchdowns. 

Intriguing Moves

What makes this move even more intriguing is just how well Jacksonville did last year with receiver moves that were largely panned as bad spending last offseason. Jacksonville’s 2022 plan to help Trevor Lawrence was to add Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram, a trio of players who disappointed elsewhere in the NFL. 

But the joke was on us because this worked out well. Lawrence had his breakout season with these players as the leading receivers on the team. They all had at least 750 yards and a catch rate of 63.2% or higher. 

Adding Ridley to this group should only strengthen the receiving room. This could even make Kirk, the best of last year’s trio, even more dangerous if he can excel from the slot while defenses put stronger corners on Ridley out wide.  

More Sacks on Defense? 

The Jaguars got solid results out of Mike Caldwell, a 1st-time defensive coordinator in 2022. He returns to coach a familiar unit led by Josh Allen (the edge rusher) and Foyesade Oluokun, the latter being the linebacker who has led the NFL in tackles the last 2 seasons. 

But the Jaguars would love to create more chaos on defense and take quarterbacks down more often for sacks. According to Pro Football Reference, the 2022 Jaguars had the 4th-highest pressure rate (25.1%) but ranked 28th in sack rate (5.5%) with 35 sacks.

Getting the Sacks  

The Jaguars led the NFL with 77 quarterback knockdowns, which are plays where the quarterback hit the ground after throwing the ball. That goes to show the Jaguars were very close to more sacks, but they were just coming up short of finishing the play. 

Usually when a defense has a high-pressure rate and low sack rate, that could be good news for positive regression the following season. If the defense keeps getting this kind of pressure, the sacks will come. When the schedule could feature 8 games against quarterbacks who are rookies or have fewer than 15 career starts, that also has to get this defense licking their chops.  

2023 Schedule Analysis and Pick 

The Jaguars do not have an easy schedule, but it is one that fans should feel comfortable with in how it should prepare the team well for another playoff run. There are enough winnable games thanks to playing the South divisions, but the Jaguars will also be tested by some of the best teams in the league to see where they stack up this year:

The good news is those games with the Chiefs, 49ers, Bengals, and Ravens are all at home. Buffalo is the only road game on the team’s schedule that is a team that had both a winning record and made the postseason in 2022. With a finale slate of Tampa Bay (Week 16), Carolina (Week 17), and Tennessee (Week 18), the Jaguars could be entering the playoffs on a winning streak too. 

Over or Under?

There is some concern that last year was a fluke, but with the Colts and Texans starting over with new regimes and the Titans still looking like a team that peaked 2 years ago, this is Jacksonville’s time to shine. 

The team may not be ready for 12 or 13 wins, but 10-7 and an improvement on last year is very doable and a good choice for your NFL picks

NFL Pick: 2023 Jacksonville Jaguars Over 9.5 Wins (-145) at BetOnline 

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2023 Jacksonville Jaguars Over 9.5 Wins (-145)
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On the Last Season of “The Jaguars”: Clawing and Scratching    

The 2022 Jaguars had an interesting season with its share of ups and downs. Things started well with a 2-1 start that saw the team blank the Colts 24-0 and destroy the Chargers 38-10 on the road. 

But after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in Philadelphia thanks to some good bounces, the Jaguars struggled to hold the ball in the rain and lost 29-21. That was the beginning of a 5-game losing streak that exposed the Jaguars as being the same old team they have been for years. A team that you just had to score 20 points to beat, and if you were ahead of them by the fourth quarter, they were not going to come back to win. 

Changing the Narrative

After a 2-6 start, the Jaguars began to change the narrative. They took advantage of the 2022 Raiders’ historic ability to blow big leads, erasing a 17-0 deficit for a big comeback win in Week 9. 

A 10-point loss to the Chiefs despite being plus-3 in turnovers was a wake-up call that the Jaguars still had a long way to go, but the bye week came at a useful time with the team at 3-7. 

The Week 12 game against Baltimore was also a turning point. The Jaguars were down 19-10 and 27-20 in the fourth quarter, but Trevor Lawrence led the drive of his career to a touchdown, then Pederson was aggressive to go for 2 with 14 seconds left to take a 28-27 lead. It just worked out as Justin Tucker was only a few yards short on a 67-yard field goal to end the game. 

The 28-27 win over Baltimore ended an unbelievable streak of 41 straight losses in games where Jacksonville allowed more than 20 points. The afterglow of the win did not last long as the Lions routed Jacksonville 40-14 in a game where Lawrence looked like he suffered a nasty leg injury. But he was able to continue playing and would not miss a start. 

Winning Streak

Jacksonville would win its final 5 games, including a 17-point comeback after halftime against Dallas. The defense really took over in the final 3 games, holding the Jets, Texans, and Titans to a combined 22 points. 

But Jacksonville’s run would not have mattered if the Titans did not implode following a 7-3 start. Trying to prevent ending the season with a 7-game losing streak, the Titans and Jaguars met in Week 18 in Jacksonville in the de facto division title game. 

The Titans had to start Josh Dobbs at quarterback as Ryan Tannehill was injured. The Jaguars struggled to run the ball, and Lawrence was not able to score much with a one-dimensional attack. Trailing 16-13 with only 3:00 left, Jacksonville’s defense delivered by forcing Dobbs to fumble and returning it for a game-winning touchdown. 

From 2-6 to 9-8 division winner, the Jaguars were able to host a playoff game against the Chargers, the team they crushed 38-10 in Week 3. But Jusitn Herbert’s ribs looked better this time, and Lawrence looked horrific in his playoff debut, tossing 4 early interceptions as the Chargers led 27-0 late in the 2nd quarter. But a touchdown before halftime gave the Jaguars some confidence, and their comebacks against the Raiders, Ravens, and Cowboys had to give them hope they could pull this off against a Chargers team known for choking. 

Playoff Comeback

In the end, Lawrence came all the way back to throw 4 touchdowns and lead a game-winning drive for a field goal on the final play as the Jaguars won 31-30. The 27-point comeback is the 3rd-largest comeback win in NFL playoff history. 

In the divisional round rematch with the Chiefs, the Jaguars caught a break when Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in the 1st quarter after his mobility destroyed the Jacksonville defense on the opening drive. Mahomes left the game at a point, but backup Chad Henne was able to lead a crucial 98-yard touchdown drive. 

Mahomes returned in the 2nd half, and the Jaguars were unable to force him into big mistakes. Meanwhile, no comeback for Lawrence this time as the Jaguars turned the ball over twice in the 4th quarter in the 27-20 loss. 

The Jaguars did a great job to turn things around from 2-6, but there will be higher expectations in 2023 and they are no longer an underdog in the division.