The Jacksonville Jaguars head into 2023 with a good amount of last year’s returning cast. The Jaguars’ rebuild is in excellent shape, with Trevor Lawrence at the center. The Jags went 9-8 last season, winning the AFC South and getting past the Wild Card round in a crazy comeback win over the Chargers. The Jaguars bring back Travis Etienne, Zay Jones, and Christian Kirk, and add Calvin Ridley to the receiving group this season.
Here’s a look at Jacksonville’s best and worst scenarios for the upcoming year. At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Jaguars are +3000 to win the Super Bowl, +1400 to win the AFC, -155 to win the AFC South, and -195 to make the playoffs.
Jaguars best case scenario for 2023
The Jaguars are on quite a steep upward slope over the past few years. Their offense has become a firepower in the AFC South, and they gave the Chiefs a run for their money in the divisional round last postseason. The best-case scenario for 2023 is a strong regular season with 10 or more wins and a playoff run that takes them to the conference championship.
The Jags’ biggest improvement need is defensive, as they ranked near the bottom in several stat lines last season, including pass defense and yards allowed per game. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell will enter his second year with the Jags, and they resigned several d-linemen that will ideally be able to make more of an impact this year. They have Travon Walker at edge, and while the linebacker situation needs tweaks, a best-case for the Jags looks like an improvement on quarterback pressure and increased pass breakups.
Jaguars worst case scenario for 2023
The very, very worst-case scenario for the Jags involves a Trevor Lawrence injury that keeps him out long enough to affect their season and their playoff hopes. However, let’s say Lawrence stays healthy all season, as does Etienne. The worst case here is nothing disastrous — I don’t see the Jags suddenly dropping to a four- or five-win team out of nowhere, especially given how last year went for them. However, if the defense continues to struggle, and if those struggles translate to more points allowed per game, the worst case here looks like the Jags are being outscored every game.
Even if the offense does everything right, if the defense can’t back them up on the other side of the ball and get off the field, then the Jags may be fated to lose some very, very frustrating games and narrowly miss the playoffs.