The Jaguars’ mantra of improving each week paid dividends late in the 2014 campaign. Usually, teams that start 0-8 are more concerned about avoiding a 0-16 finish than they are playing competitive football.
The Jaguars’ second half schedule benefitted them. The Jags were able to win four of their first five games in the second half, but injuries kept them from continuing their winning ways through the end of the season.
In addition, the Jaguars found a handful of impact players on their roster, and the foundation does appear to be set for the future, especially if the Jaguars can avoid the injury bug moving forward.
It’s hard to get excited about a 4-12 season. The Jaguars were streaky on offense. At some times, Chad Henne and company appeared completely competent, but at other times, the offense is unable to make any progress, and third downs are often brutal to watch.
The most outstanding problem the Jaguars seem to have that they’re playing without a true starting quarterback. Henne makes a solid backup quarterback, but he’s not a franchise passer. That’s an issue the Jaguars have kicked down the road for years, but they can’t continue to ignore it if they want to rise above mediocrity.
Justin Blackmon, who is hands down the Jags’ best receiver, may never see the field again as a player for the Jags. Blackmon has all the talent in the world, and when he’s on the field, he completely changes the Jaguars’ offense, but he’s rarely on the field due to substance related suspensions.
In addition, it seems unlikely that Maurice Jones-Drew will be back with the Jaguars. The Jags’ rushing attack never got going in 2013, and that wasn’t really Jones-Drew’s fault, but at this point in the team’s redevelopment, he’s not really worth his salary. It’s a rough reality in the NFL, but there’s no avoiding it.