ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth explains why the Jags could be the Bengals of 2021

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to finish third in the AFC South for the most part, with the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts finishing ahead of them in some order in most cases. Additionally, they are expected to receive a top-10 draft pick again, which means most believe they will have more wins than losses.

However, ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth thinks the Jags have a shot at being the Cincinnati Bengals this year as they go from a fourth-place team in 2021 to competing in the Super Bowl. As many witnessed last season, the Bengals went to the Super Bowl after going 4-11 the previous year and placing fourth in the AFC North. However, they quickly turned things around and stunned the football community with a 10-7 record and a Super Bowl berth.

On a recent episode of “Get Up” this week, Foxworth told Dan Graziano the Jags would bring the same element of surprise as Cincinnati if they could go from worst to first. He also added that the Jags have pieces in some key positions that could give them a chance.

“I’ll go with the Jaguars,” Foxworth said. “I think the whole point of being the Cincinnati Bengals is not just to go from worst to first, but it also has to be a bit of a surprise. So I might pick the Ravens because they were the worst in their division last year, but they had a lot of injuries and things like that.

“The Jaguars, like the Bengals, have a very talented young quarterback and they’ve worked through some offensive line issues, which we know makes life easier for that quarterback, and they brought in Travon. Walker to help with that defensive pressure. So, I’m not sure they will, but if you look around this division, I think the Colts are a very, very talented team and we’ll see what happens when Matt Ryan gets there. But it’s not a division that has a bunch of behemoths. I think the Titans have taken a step back and I don’t think the Texans are trying their year. So I think it’s possible, it’s a long shot.

Foxworth is probably the first analyst to say this about the Jags, and while it’s a long shot, he makes some good points.

The Indianapolis Colts have a lot of talent, but at the same time the Jags have been a problem for them, especially in Jacksonville. With the addition of Travon Walker, they could be even more of a problem as he helps them tremendously against the run, which is what the Colts do best.

As for the Titans, they have the number of the Jags. However, as Foxworth pointed out, they may have taken a step back, especially on offense. They traded receiver AJ Brown to Philadelphia, giving the Jags one less problem to deal with, even though Derrick Henry is still there. Even with Henry, however, losing a talent like Brown cannot be overlooked.

Finally, there are the Texans, who also have a lot of success against the Jags. On paper, the Jags are more talented, but fans should know by now not to stop there when it comes to the Texans, who are 27-13 against the Jags overall. That said, there’s still room for optimism regarding the Jags’ success against the Texans this season, as they have a more capable staff than what Houston beat last season.

The Jags will need to overcome many potential weaknesses to make a run like the Bengals did last season, but they have a coach who can make the most of their talent in Doug Pederson. Many will point to the receiving corps and call it a weakness, but let’s not forget that Pederson won a Super Bowl with his backup quarterback and a receiving group that didn’t have a 1,000-yarder.

It also can’t be said enough that the right quarterback-coach combination can elevate the team. Trevor Lawrence is the most talented quarterback Pederson has had as a head coach in the eyes of most, and the two have a great relationship so far.

That said, Pederson has a resume that proves it shouldn’t be doubted. Still, that looks like a realistic mark for the Jags may be six to seven wins this season, but that may change as there’s plenty of time left before the regular season.

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