Road to the Playoffs

 

The 2023 Jacksonville Jaguars’ Unbelievable Season So Far

Words by Carson Rich

We have reached the midway point of the NFL season, and it is looking like the biggest comeback of the decade with how the Jacksonville Jaguars have been performing. Sitting at top of the AFC conference right now with an 8-3 record, they are poised to make their mark during the playoffs if they continue on the current path they are following. 

 

Known for their resilience, the Jaguars entered the 2023 season with a renewed sense of purpose. Under the leadership of head coach Doug Pederson, the team set out to rebuild its foundation, both on and off the field. Through these past 11 games, every member of the team has come together to show the league that they are a force to be reckoned with, not one to forget about. Defeating almost every opponent in just about every team stat category, this newly refurbished and refocused team is showing everyone that it takes a group effort, and that everyone deserves their spot on that 53-man roster. 

 

During the offseason, there was a lot of chatter circulating around QB Trevor Lawrence’s position as a starter in the NFL. Some would say that he is a top five quarterback that deserves the same recognition that is given to the likes of Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, and others say that statement is wildly untrue and that he is just filling in the role as someone who is just “better than his backups.” This season has without a doubt proven that Lawrence has earned a spot in the top 10 conversation at the very least. As of now, the Jaguars are the top team in the AFC, which was not the outcome most people would have expected by this time, and his stat lines show his work is paying off in the biggest way possible. After his monster game against the Houston Texans, he ranks ninth in QBR percentage and 10th in passing yards, along with his clutch gene that enables him to help pull the team together for a victory. NFL “couch analysts” may have doubted him before, but they should be holding their tongues now after what he has done thus far. 

 

Linebackers Foye Oluokun and Josh Allen have been showing time and time again they are an unstoppable force that offensive linemen need to be afraid of. Oluokun is fourth in the NFL on combined tackles with 119, placing him among an elite list of defenders after being traded from the Atlanta Falcons. Devin Lloyd and Rayshawn Jenkins also help complete this stacked line-up of defensive titans that has been a major problem for offenses everywhere. Back to the offense, wide receiver Calvin Ridley had a slow start at the beginning of the season but has been a menace to defensive backs ever since with 663 yards and five touchdowns. 

 

The rest of the season shows much promise of success for the Jaguars, as both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns have lost key players due to injury, making those wins more plausible. After that, the next two games complete their out of conference division games of the NFC South with the 1-10 Carolina Panthers, who just fired their head coach, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who should not pose as a big problem. The two games that could potentially be in question are the Baltimore Ravens, who have been on fire lately, and the division rival Tennessee Titans. These two games could ultimately decide the season, but if the home team can pull these out as wins, then making the playoffs won’t even be a conversation. 

 

In the heart of Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars are orchestrating a comeback story that has captured the attention of football enthusiasts across the nation. With the image of last year’s defeat still lingering in the back of everyone’s mind, this team is resurging with a vengeance to take what is rightfully theirs, a shot at the Lombardi Trophy.

About Carson Rich

Throughout his childhood, you could always find Carson Rich with his eyes glued to the screen watching Sportcenter every morning before school. Now as an aspiring sports journalist at Folio Weekly, he looks to take after the people he used to look up to. Even when he is not writing about sports, he's usually at home binging old highlights or catching up on the latest news in sports.