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How serious are the Jacksonville Jaguars?

One of the early upward trending teams in the NFL resides in Duval County. Are the Jaguars legitimate contenders?

Through three weeks of the 2022 NFL season, one of the developing surprises are the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a sleepy opener against the Commanders, the Jags have strung together back-to-back blowout victories over the Colts and the Chargers to improve to 2-1 on the year. Another victory and the current AFC South leaders will have already matched their win total from a year ago.

So is it too early to take them seriously as an AFC contender? Or are the men from Duval County legit?

There are certainly reasons for optimism here. For starters, second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence is finding his footing and is starting to look like a signal caller that was taken with the No. 1 overall pick. After a pedestrian outing against the Commanders to open the season, he’s looked money the last two weeks. He went 25-30 for 235 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-0 Week 2 victory over the Colts and then went 28-39 for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-10 Week 4 victory over the Chargers. It certainly helps that offensive weapons like James Robinson, Zay Jones, and Christian Kirk are stepping up and making big plays.

While Lawrence and the offense are starting to hum, the strength of the team might lie in the defense. They’ve emerged as one of the top defensive units in fantasy football, recording seven sacks, six interceptions, and two fumble recoveries through three games. The likes of Devin Lloyd, Josh Allen (the defensive one), Foyesade Oluokun, and No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker have been excellent and look to be a feared front seven for the entire season.

On top of that, the team has an actual adult in charge now with Doug Pederson running the show as the new head coach. The early returns are good for the Super Bowl winning head coach and Jags fans have already memory holed the disaster that was Urban Meyer’s short tenure.

The Jaguars are trending up in the eyes of the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook. Their odds to win the AFC South have gone from +750 prior Week 1 to +275 coming out of Week 3. Likewise, their Super Bowl odds in that same span have gone up from +10000 to +8000 in that same stretch. There’s still a bunch of football to be played, but keep your eye on Jacksonville.