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2013 Jacksonville Jaguars
Mediocrity has been a word associated with the Jacksonville Jaguars far too often. The Jaguars have not had made a playoff appearance since 2007, and they were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season. From the time they stepped on the field, fans and bettors knew it was going to be a very rough season. Jacksonville went 1-5 in its first six games (going 3-3 against the spread) and finished the year on a 1-9 (4-6 ATS) run to finish at 2-14 overall and end up last again in the AFC South, also tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the worst record in the league.
Injuries and inconsistency haunted the Jaguars last season. Franchise player Maurice Jones-Drew only played six games last season, putting up 500 yards of total offense and two touchdowns as he was mostly sidelined with a nagging foot injury. This left a huge whole in Jacksonville's offense, as MJD had racked up almost 2,000 yards of total offense and 11 total touchdowns in the 2011-12 season. At the quarterback position, veteran Chad Henne and 2011 first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert split reps throughout the season. Gabbert started 10 games, but he threw for 1,662 yards and only nine touchdowns to go along with six interceptions. Henne was slightly better but still mediocre overall, as he threw for 2,084 yards in 10 games with 11 TDs and 11 INTs. Second-year wide receiver Cecil Shorts was by far the team's biggest bright spot on offense, recording 55 receptions for 979 yards and seven TDs.
Another poor season prompted Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn to bring in Dave Caldwell as the new general manager. The first move of Caldwell's tenure was the decision to fire head coach Mike Mularkey, who was in Jacksonville for just one season. After conducting his head coaching search, Caldwell decided to hire Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as Mularkey's replacement. This was viewed by many NFL experts as a great hiring that should especially help the team's defense. The Jaguars selected Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, which should greatly improve their pass protection. They also picked up safety Johnthan Cyprien from Florida International in the second round and added cornerback Marcus Trufant as a key free-agent signing, giving the secondary a brand new look. Cyprien is already being considered as a frontrunner to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The oddsmakers at 5Dimes have Jacksonville listed at O/U 5 wins for this season, which may still be a bit high for an inexperienced team undergoing a number of changes and with a number of holes to fill still on both sides of the ball. The Jaguars may be headed in the right direction but figure to struggle and could very well be picking in the Top 5 in next year's NFL draft as well.
Recommended Play: UNDER 5
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