The Jacksonville Jaguars completed the 2021 season with a 3-14 report, which was the worst out of any NFL group. Statistically, the Jaguars ranked towards the underside of the league in lots of classes. The group’s teaching and management below City Meyer was basically nonexistent.
Flash ahead to 2022, and Jacksonville has made a variety of strides towards being a extra competent soccer group, however there may be nonetheless a variety of work to do. The obvious and wanted change is on the head coach place, with tremendous bowl LII-winning Doug Pederson now on the helm.
Jacksonville’s offense added a number of playmakers by means of free company and also needs to see a giant growth from quarterback Trevor Lawrence in his second NFL season. The protection was bolstered all through the offseason, together with in the course of the 2022 NFL Draftand seems to be much-improved heading into coaching camp.
Nonetheless, the Jaguars nonetheless have an extended strategy to go earlier than the group will probably be competing for a playoff spot. For Jacksonville to show issues round and play significant soccer video games late within the 2022 season, there are a number of areas of the sport the place Jacksonville must get higher at in comparison with its 2021 effort.
Listed here are 5 areas by which the Jaguars should enhance in if the group plans to have any success in the course of the 2022 marketing campaign:
Scoring offense and scoring protection:
That is apparent and could also be a little bit of an oversimplification, however probably the most fundamental objective in soccer is to attain extra factors than the opponent. In 2021, the Jaguars struggled mightily to place factors up on the board. Actually, it was an abysmal efficiency from Lawrence and the offense in that regard. Jacksonville scored simply 14.9 factors per recreation final season, which not solely ranked lifeless final within the NFL for the 12 months, however was additionally the bottom full season output because the Arizona Cardinals averaged 14.1 factors per recreation in the course of the 2018 season.
Merely put, the franchise won’t win many video games scoring below 15 factors per contest. For comparability, all 14 playoff groups in 2021 averaged no less than 20.2 factors per recreation, and 13 of these 14 groups scored no less than 22 factors per recreation (the Pittsburgh Steelers had been at 20.2 factors per recreation). It appears as if the Jaguars would wish to get nearer to round 20 factors per recreation to be a real competitor in 2022, however displaying any form of average enchancment right here is vital for the group’s growth transferring ahead.
Defensively, it wasn’t a lot better for Jacksonville. The previous adage is “protection wins championships,” however in an ever-changing NFL the place most of the current rule modifications typically favor the offense, it’s important for a protection to have the ability to get off the sector and stop the opposition from moving into the top zone as typically as potential.
The Jaguars allowed 26.9 factors per recreation final season, which ranked twenty eighth within the NFL. After all, a few of that is because of poor beginning discipline place and dangerous conditions that the offense put the protection in, however the defensive unit should do a greater job of limiting touchdowns. The Jaguars gave up 52 touchdowns in 2021, which was tied with the Detroit Lions for the fourth most allowed within the NFL.
The Jaguars averaged 1.7 turnovers per recreation in 2021, which resulted in a complete of 29 giveaways — solely the New York Giants had extra (30). Jacksonville threw 17 interceptions on the season — all from Lawrence — and solely six groups threw extra picks. In the meantime, the Jaguars’ 12 misplaced fumbles tied for probably the most within the league.
On the opposite facet of the ball, Jacksonville created simply 9 whole takeaways, which ranked lifeless final final within the NFL. Jacksonville’s seven interceptions had been solely forward of the Las Vegas Raiders (six), and its two fumble recoveries had been the fewest within the league.
Total, Jacksonville had a putrid turnover differential of minus-20, which as soon as once more was simply the worst in the whole league. Turnovers play an vital function in deciding video games. There’s a robust correlation between turnover margin and wins and losses. For instance, in 2019, groups that received the turnover battle in a recreation went 151-46-1 (76.6 %), in line with SportsLine.
It goes with out saying that the Jaguars need to take a lot better care of the ball on offense, and create extra turnovers on protection, to win extra video games in 2022.
Whereas the Jaguars struggled to create turnovers, the defensive unit additionally had a tough time attending to opposing quarterbacks and producing sacks. Jacksonville recorded simply 32 whole sacks, averaging about 1.9 sacks per recreation, which ranked twenty seventh within the league.
In keeping with Soccer Outsidersthe Jaguars had an adjusted sack charge — which “offers sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per move try adjusted for down, distance, and opponent” of simply 5.5 %, which additionally ranks twenty seventh within the league.
Jacksonville was a bit of extra respectable when it comes to stress charge (quarterback hurries, knockdowns and sacks mixed). In keeping with Professional Soccer Reference, the Jaguars had a stress charge of 24.2 %, which ranks 18th within the NFL. Nonetheless, in 2022, Jacksonville wants to complete the job extra typically and truly sack the quarterback at a greater tempo. Hopefully pairing No. 1 total decide Travon Walker with Josh Allen will assist on this regard.
Miscues — Dropped Passes and missed tackles:
Offensively, the Jaguars dropped 33 passes as a group in 2021, the seventh most within the NFL, per Professional Soccer Reference. The group additionally had a drop charge of 5.5 %, which was tied for seventh most within the league. As a group, Jacksonville had a 61.9 % catch share.
There have been far too many drops final season that in the end ended drives prematurely and prevented Jacksonville from scoring factors. With a retooled vast receivers room with Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, and tight finish Evan Engram additionally becoming a member of the fold, the Jaguars’ move catchers might want to enhance on this regard.
Defensively, the Jaguars missed 130 tackles in 2021, in line with Professional Soccer Reference. Solely the Detroit Lions had extra (132). That is far too many missed tackles, and it typically led to massive performs for the opposition. It needs to be an space defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and his employees look to noticeably deal with the unit heading into the 2022 marketing campaign and all through the season.
One other statistical class the place the Jaguars ranked towards the underside of the league in final season was third-down conversion share. Jacksonville transformed simply 35.85 % of its makes an attempt on third down (76 out of 212), which ranked twenty eighth. In 2022, the Jaguars have to have the ability to convert on third downs and lengthen drives to in the end put factors up on the board. Nonetheless, the Jaguars had been really stable on fourth down final 12 months, going 18-for-31 (58.06 %, tenth within the NFL).
In the meantime, Jacksonville’s protection allowed opposing groups to transform at a couple of 43 % clip (95 out of 221), which put the Jaguars twenty fifth within the NFL. So, points on third down plagued Jacksonville on either side of the ball. The Jaguars additionally allowed opponents to transform 14 groups on 21 fourth-down makes an attempt (66.7 %, thirtieth in NFL). Whereas it is necessary for the offense to transform on essential third and fourth downs, it’s simply as vital for the protection to have the ability to get off the sector and get the ball again to Lawrence and firm.
To be frank, the Jaguars want to enhance in nearly each space in 2022. Time will inform if the group has made sufficient strides within the offseason to really enhance its win whole.