Jaguars QB Blake Bortles tied for second-most passing touchdowns in the league (35), but he was also sacked 51 times
The Jacksonville Jaguars have assembled a strong list of playmakers on offense and solidified their D through free agency and the draft. The biggest question mark is at offensive line and although optimism is high, we have to keep in mind that the four teams who allowed 50-plus sacks last year finished a combined 50-108 SU.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 5-11 SU and 7-9 ATS
Over/Under: 10-6 O/U
Noteworthy: In the past two months, the Jaguars’ odds to win the Super Bowl have gone from 50/1 down to 40/1 at multiple online sportsbooks. Season Win Total odds, meanwhile, have been trimmed from a high of 7.5 Over (-155) to thier current price of 7.5 Over (-120). The last time Jacksonville won more than five games straight-up was in 2010 (8-8 SU).
With Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory as teammates, Jags QB Blake Bortles has no shortage of talent to work with. His TD to INT ratio went from 11:17 in 2014 to an impressive 35:18 in 2015 and while HC Gus Bradley is hopeful the Jags won’t be throwing quite as much this year, it was nice to see Bortles working so well with the offense.
O-Co Greg Olson remains with the team and his biggest concern is on the O-Line. They are in a complete transition with no guarantees over LT Kelvin Beachum’s durability nor Brandon Lindor’s ability to start at center. The truth is that Olson’s all-time record in five O-Co gigs is just 50-108 SU. Doug Marrone is the assistant head coach/offensive line coach and his last year at Buffalo, Marrone went 9-7 SU. Ironic as it seems, if this offense isn’t producing, the axe on Olson could be quick to fall.
Jacksonville has a new D-Co this year in Todd Wash and Wash was rewarded with six of seven draft picks from the defensive side. Fifth overall pick Jalen Ramsey could start right away, alongside free agents Prince Amukamara (Giants) and Tashaun Gipson (Browns). DT Malik Jackson (Broncos) was also signed and 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler, who injured his knee during training camp and missed the entire season, looks solid in Jags training camp.
JAGUARS BOTTOM LINE: STATEMENT GAME
Since thier four-year run of consecutive playoff appearances under HC Tom Coughlin (1996-99), the Jags’ best month for SU/ATS win percentages is November (30-31 SU and 31-29-1 ATS). In 2016, three of Jacksonville’s four November games are on the road but they host Houston in Week 10. The Texans are off a bye and this game is sandwiched between four road games for Jacksonville. It’s one of their most important games all season and in divisional play, home teams here have a 33-23-1 ATS (59-percent) record. Getting points, this is a good spot to consider backing the Jags.