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Jacksonville Jaguars could actually make the playoffs

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

(USA AT THIS TIME Sports Photos)

Precisely one month ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars had been 0-eight and had analysts legitimately wondering whether or not they’d be the second group in NFL history to complete 0-sixteen. After an surprising turnaround that features Thursday evening’s victory over the Houston Texans, Jacksonville now sits at four-9, a greater file than 2012 playoff groups just like the Falcons, Redskins and the aforementioned Texans.

Though Jacksonville’s current three-game profitable streak is more than likely just building a foundation for next season (and moving the Jags down the draft board), there’s nonetheless a not-so-loopy situation wherein the workforce may truly make the playoffs. I mean, it’s crazy, nevertheless it’s not that loopy. Here’s the way it may play out, through ESPN’s Playoff Machine:

• Jacksonville wins out …

… (vs. Buffalo, vs. Tennessee and at Indianapolis in Week 17, when the Colts will doubtless relaxation its starters earlier than internet hosting a wild card game).

• Tennessee loses …

… to Denver on Sunday and only wins one in every of two towards the Cardinals and Texans.

• Baltimore loses …

… games to the Lions, Patriots and Bengals.

• Miami beats Pittsburgh …

… on Sunday, then loses its final three to New England, Buffalo and the Jets.

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

(USA IN THE PRESENT DAY Sports activities Pictures)

• The Steelers lose …

… two of their ultimate 4 video games (vs. Miami, vs. Cincinnati, at Inexperienced Bay, vs. Cleveland).

• Rex Ryan and the Jets …

… proceed being Rex Ryan and the Jets by beating the Dolphins in Week 17 and dropping two of three video games to the Raiders, Browns and Panthers.

And similar to that, the Jacksonville Jaguars will play a road sport within the first spherical of the NFL playoffs. Simple peazy, proper?

Okay, after all there’s virtually no probability of all these items happening in tandem. None of these eventualities is that far-fetched, but all of them taking place at the similar time would take a minor miracle, and that ship sailed for Jacksonville after they failed to sign Tim Tebow.

Nonetheless, it’s Dec. 6 and the phrases “Jaguars” and “playoffs” are being used collectively and not drawing guffaws. That’s an accomplishment in itself.

(Because of @fbgchase for sharing this far-fetched, but fun, situation.)

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Blaine Gabbert will start for Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday

(USA Right now Sports activities Pictures)

The Jacksonville Jaguars obtained some news on Monday. It’s debatable whether that information is good or unhealthy.

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has missed the previous two video games due to a hand injury. Jacksonville has been outscored 64-26 with out Gabbert. That’s the reason Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was happy to inform the workforce’s official reporter that Gabbert will start towards Indianapolis on Sunday.

Gabbert’s return does not mean Jacksonville will magically turn around its dreadful season.

Jacksonville didn’t rating an offensive landing with Gabbert below heart in Week 1. Kansas City defeated Jacksonville, 28-2, and Gabbert completed sixteen-of-35 passes for 121, two interceptions and no touchdowns throughout that game. Gabbert minimize his hand on a participant’s shoulder pads late in that game and obtained 15 stitches, which is why he missed the past two video games. Chad Henne changed Gabbert throughout the starter’s absence.

Jaguars working again Maurice Jones-Drew was energetic this past Sunday after lacking time because of an ankle harm. Receiver Justin Blackmon has just one recreation remaining on his four-recreation league suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Blackmon’s return ought to assist Jacksonville’s offense, however he can’t carry your complete crew.

Jacksonville could have its beginning quarterback this Sunday, but that doesn’t imply Gabbert will make an enormous difference.

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And with the first pick of the 2014 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select …

(USA Today Sports Pictures)

The good individuals of Jacksonville do not deserve this. They’ve been plagued with unhealthy-staff syndrome for years now, with a mere two postseason appearances since 2000.

Since going eight-8 in 2010, the Jaguars have received 5 and two video games the past two seasons. And now that they lost Sunday, 19-9 to the Oakland Raiders, they continue to be caught on zero victories this season — win no clear wins in sight.

Three of the following four are on the highway, starting in Seattle in Week three. Each opponent from now till Week thirteen (Cleveland) has a minimum of one win, and 4 games left on their schedule will likely be in opposition to 2-0 teams. The Jaguars completely, positively will be the early favorites to earn the first decide in the draft, except the Browns keep up their stellar play.

How bad have been issues Sunday against the Raiders — once thought of the worst workforce in football? Take into account:

• In falling behind 19-three, the Jaguars collected 111 yards of offense on their first 10 drives, nine of which failed to achieve greater than 24 yards.
• Their two-recreation totals offensively: 426 yards, 11 sacks allowed, eleven offensive factors (we’re not counting the protection in Week 1).
• An extended play of 30 yards in in eight quarters. Zero offensive targets for Denard Robinson, listed by the staff as an “offensive weapon.” Keep in mind, there are two acceptable pronunciations for “offensive.”
• Zero interceptions this season. One compelled fumble recovered.
• Six speeding first downs gained.
• One TD cross, from backup quarterback Chad Henne.

Need we go on?

New head coach Gus Bradley is a constructive guy, thank goodness, however he has a serious job on his arms. Their quarterback of the longer term likely is not on the roster. A rebuilt offensive line hasn’t completed its job yet. They likely can have new starters at operating again and tight end next year, with mainstays Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis seemingly on their method out.

The smartest thing that may happen this season is that Bradley identifies a couple of leaders from their past few draft lessons, and some core guys they’ll build around. The horses and the superstars simply aren’t evident on the roster, and that includes the proficient however troubled Justin Blackmon, who returns from suspension in Week 5.

Maybe Teddy Bridgewater or another faculty quarterback can be a savior. However until then, wins shall be at a premium this season and misery could be plentiful. The Jaguars received two last yr and won’t be better. Are they 0-sixteen dangerous? After Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, it’s at the very least within the discussion.

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Jacksonville fans didn’t stick around during the Chiefs’ shellacking of the Jaguars

After this touchdown, much more Jacksonville fans headed for the exits. (Getty)

Jaguars fans headed for the exits early throughout Sunday’s house opener in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, although given the home crew’s performance, you’ll be able to’t fault them. It could be another long 12 months of empty seats at EverBank Stadium and residential blackouts in Jacksonville.

And of the followers that stayed throughout the fourth quarter, quite a lot of them sure had been crimson-clad.

The Jaguars’ offense was inept, incompetent and impotent all through the sport, tallying just 178 yards, surrendering six sacks, and never shifting into Chiefs territory till late in the fourth quarter in a 28-2 loss, the primary such closing score in NFL history.

For Kansas City, it was its third straight week one blowout, however this time they weren’t the ones getting shellacked. In 2011, the Chiefs misplaced forty one-7 to Buffalo and last season fell 40-24 to the Falcons.

This 12 months, there are certainly indicators that the Andy Reid and Alex Smith period shall be far different than that disastrous 2-14 2012. After the Jaguars scored first, getting their safety on a blocked Dustin Colquitt punt, the Chiefs immediately responded, culminating with an touchdown pass from Smith to Donnie Avery. Simply three minutes into 2013, the Chiefs had a lead in regulation. That did not occur till the ninth game of 2012.

The Chiefs discovered the end zone three times in the first half, and given the 19 point lead, have been seemingly content material to wait out the second half and leave town with the win. Although a lot of that might be contributed to the absence of star operating again Jamaal Charles, who was damage on a 3rd-and-one play.

After he walked off the field, Charles limped to the locker room with what the Chiefs stated was a quad damage. He didn’t return, and in his absence, the Chiefs offense stagnated.

However, that wasn’t nearly as severe as the stagnation of the Jaguars’ offense. If Sunday represented the doable change of fortunes for the Chiefs under a new head coach, it resembled extra of the same for the Jaguars and coach Gus Bradley.

Blaine Gabbert struggled throwing downfield when he had time to pass and Maurice Jones-Drew couldn’t break anything longer than a ten yard stick with it the bottom. Gabbert also threw two interceptions, together with a choose-six to linebacker Tamba Hali, who hardly needed to transfer for the move that Gabbert threw right to him.

Jacksonville did set a franchise document, however it was for punts in a game at 11.

Gabbert played regardless of a hairline fracture of his right thumb and left the game within the fourth quarter with blood oozing from his proper hand. He was changed by Chad Henne, who drove the Jaguars inside the Chiefs’ 10 late within the fourth quarter before running out of downs.

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Blaine Gabbert named Jaguars’ starting quarterback, but he’ll miss rest of the preseason

(USA At the moment Sports activities Images)

Funny things are taking place in Jacksonville.

First, Blaine Gabbert played well within the preseason win over the Jets. Good for him.

Then, he suffered a hairline fracture his thumb in the same recreation. Not so good for him.

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So on Monday, the Jaguars introduced Gabbert will likely be their beginning quarterback for the regular-season opener the Chiefs on Sept. 8, and in addition that he’ll miss the rest of the preseason due to the thumb harm.

Got it? Solely the Jags.

Of course, Gabbert Mania is spreading, and his standing as a Real American hero actually has something to do with that.

Truthfully, the third-12 months quarterback from Missouri has loads to show. His first two seasons have been mostly underwhelming. Yet, new coach Gus Bradley might be his third head coach in as many seasons, so Gabbert will get the possibility to begin contemporary.

He did well in that game towards the Jets, finishing thirteen-of-sixteen passes for a hundred sixty five yards and leading two scoring drives in his three possessions. His fundamental competitors, Chad Henne, couldn’t pry the job free: He completed a mere 4-of-10 passes for 30 yards with a decide and a sack against Jets second- and third-teamers. Yuck.

Bradley expects Gabbert to be out two weeks however back in time to get ready for the Chiefs. Simply in time to proceed his hero campaign.

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Jets QB Geno Smith to miss preseason game against the Jaguars due to ankle injury

Geno Smith is not going to play on Saturday night time (USA Right this moment Sports Photographs)

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith won’t play within the workforce’s preseason recreation towards the Jacksonville Jaguars on account of his injured right ankle, the workforce announced two hours before kickoff.

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Smith, a 2013 second-round pick of West Virginia, is in a full-blown competition with Mark Sanchez for the beginning job. Smith was the second quarterback in against the Detroit Lions final Friday evening and performed 14 snaps, but injured his ankle throughout a scramble in the opening minutes of the third quarter and was changed by Greg McElroy.

Even though he was not one hundred pc, the Jets allowed Smith to practice this week, a call which will have negatively impacted his capability to play in Saturday night time’s recreation in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jets head coach Rex Ryan defended the decision to not relaxation Smith, citing the crew being in the installation part of training cam for giving him these dwell reps throughout the workforce’s remaining practices of camp.

“I definitely understand that line of questioning, but you have to also realize that we’re installing,” Ryan said on Thursday. “We’re nonetheless within the install phase and placing in a brand new offensive system. So we’re still in that set up part right now and obviously with any quarterback, especially a younger quarterback, we thought that he would definitely benefit from getting these reps and obviously the trainers had been comfy with him being out there and so that’s why we did it. However I think those reps are worthwhile, especially when you’re in the set up section.”

Installation is definitely vital, but it’s definitely not as important as getting Smith stay reps towards an opposing protection. Smith will miss that priceless expertise on Saturday night, making it extra doubtless that Sanchez would be the beginning quarterback when the Jets open towards the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. eight.

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Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon escorted to locker room following sideline altercation

Justin Blackmon wanted to be escorted to the locker room (USA At the moment Sports Photos)

Jacksonville Jaguars broad receiver Justin Blackmon could not have been capable of play in Friday night’s preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins because of current groin surgical procedure, however he made his presence recognized while watching the game from the sideline.

According to Mark Lengthy of the Related Press, Blackmon needed to be escorted to the locker room by teammate Maurice Jones-Drew after getting into a heated argument with Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll within the second quarter of the Jaguars’ 27-three loss.

Blackmon’s argument prompted first-yr head coach Gus Bradley to intervene, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Instances-Union reports.

“You understand how it is in the preseason,” Bradley said following his head coaching debut. “Typically a participant talks to the sideline. It started off as simply banter and I just addressed it. I turned to him and stated, ‘There’s no place (for that). I’d moderately you utilize your vitality to encourage our guys and never get caught in that.’

“He came proper to my office and met with me (after the sport).”

According to Lengthy, the altercation could have involved defensive end Jason Babin, one of solely seven Jaguars over the age of 30.

Blackmon’s lack of maturity might have him on skinny ice with the Jaguars. The 23-yr-previous wideout, who former normal supervisor Gene Smith traded up to select with the No. 5 total choose within the 2012 NFL draft, was arrested on DUI charges last offseason and can serve a 4-sport initially of this season after violating the league’s substance abuse coverage.

Bradley, who arrived this offseason from the Seattle Seahawks, has given Blackmon a “recent begin”. Contemplating that Bradley coached cornerback Richard Sherman the previous two seasons, he is probably not averse to a little bit trash talk, however a player doing it from the sidelines while in street garments is not going to fly with him. Especially when it is a participant who’s rehabbing an damage and will not be available until October due to a suspension.

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Ranking the training camp QB battles, from most interesting to ‘Jacksonville Jaguars’

(USA Today Sports Images)

There are many training camp position battles that will have a much bigger effect on the outcome of the 2013 NFL season than who plays quarterback for the Oakland Raiders or Jacksonville Jaguars.

Whoever wins the battle to be Seattle’s backup running back or Denver’s starting middle linebacker will likely have much more of an impact on who wins the Super Bowl than any of the five quarterback battles going into camp.

But, we care about quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez’s comments that he’s ready for the Jets’ competition reminded us of that. And so, with training camps coming up soon, here are the starting quarterback battles that truly seem up for competition as camp begins, ranked from least to most interesting:

Jacksonville Jaguars (a.k.a. the team that drafted a punter instead of Russell Wilson)
The combatants:
Blaine Gabbert vs. Chad Henne

I still don’t get how the Jaguars didn’t take one shot on any of the quarterbacks available in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Even if you don’t love Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib or Matt Barkley, the impact of hitting on a quarterback in the fourth round is well worth the gamble. Maybe, in the worst case scenario, you get a solid backup going forward. But they passed on all the quarterbacks, and now we’re stuck with this.

The only good thing about this “battle” is it will be over at some point.

Verdict: Gabbert wins the job, because the Jaguars aren’t going to be very good this season anyway and they might as well try out the former first-round pick again. And then they figure out this offseason that they’re allowed to draft a quarterback for 2014.

Buffalo Bills
The combatants:
Kevin Kolb vs. E.J. Manuel

This one doesn’t have much long-term intrigue because, let’s face it, Kolb isn’t holding off Manuel for long. This is worth keeping an eye on because Manuel is an intriguing player. He wasn’t universally considered the top quarterback of last year’s draft class, but Buffalo took him as the first quarterback off the board, and he does have a good skill set. Good luck finding anyone who is excited about Kolb’s future.

Offseason accounts from Buffalo reporters had Manuel getting a comparable amount of reps to Kolb, which should indicate the rookie will be given every chance to win the job.

Verdict: Manuel starts the season opener. The Bills have more invested in him, and he’s the future. Might as well start the process now.

Geno Smith (7) and Mark Sanchez (USA Today Sports Images) New York Jets
The combatants:
Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith

Here’s where it starts to get a little more interesting. Sanchez said he’s planning to win the job, and he’s probably right. He has the experience edge and let’s be honest, Rex Ryan isn’t going to be around after this season if Smith struggles. He won’t benefit in 2014 from Smith learning on the job (unless Smith pulls a Russell Wilson. Andrew Luck or RGIII), so why would he go that route? Smith’s final half of last season and West Virginia and his fall into the second round of the draft shows that he has work to do anyway. (Reports that Smith didn’t go to the informal “Jets West” private workouts this week won’t help that much either.)

Verdict: Sanchez wins it, but there will be a ton of pressure to play Smith if Sanchez keeps turning the ball over. Expect the crowd reaction to be fierce with every single mistake Sanchez makes this season.

Oakland Raiders
The combatants:
Matt Flynn vs. Tyler Wilson vs. Terrelle Pryor

I might be a little crazy but I’m looking forward to this one. The ultimate results of the other three are obvious (the rookies take over eventually in New York and Buffalo, and whoever wins in Jacksonville sets the game back 30 years), this one is tougher to predict. Flynn is intriguing for one reason: He has started two games in the NFL and has had two great performances. I know about sample sizes, I know Flynn has weaknesses that are easily spotted on film, but his two starts have to mean something. But Wilson slipped in the draft mostly because Arkansas was terrible last year, and not surprisingly he is getting rave reviews in the offseason. That pick was perfect for the Raiders. The reward of landing a franchise quarterback is always going to be worth a fourth-round pick (and before the 2012 season the talented Wilson was considered a likely first-round pick). If Wilson isn’t very good, it’s easy to move on.

There’s also Pryor, who is at least somewhat interesting in this era of read-option offensive success. How this battle plays out will affect the Raiders’ future plans and have an impact on the 2014 draft.

Verdict: Flynn wins, Wilson gets a long look at some point, but neither prove in 2013 to be franchise quarterbacks. Then the Raiders look long and hard to see how good Teddy Bridgewater is.

Philadelphia Eagles
The combatants:
Michael Vick vs. Nick Foles vs. Matt Barkley

This is the battle with the most moving parts, and the most interesting. Vick was immediately lauded as the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense when Kelly was hired, and while he may be, Kelly doesn’t rely on his quarterbacks running the ball as much as is portrayed. Reports have started to filter in that Foles might have the upper hand, and it makes sense. Foles isn’t fast, but maybe Kelly isn’t looking for that. Foles looked good at times last year when thrown into the fire, and he’s a lot younger and cheaper than Vick. There’s also Barkley, another case like Wilson – another player once thought of as a sure first-rounder who slipped and should be in Jacksonville right now. It seems like a race where nobody should be surprised if any of the three win it.

Verdict: Vick starts opening day because he is so intriguing. Vick at his peak may be a memory now, but it’s still worth chasing. Plan on seeing at least Barkley this season, and maybe him and Foles. It’ll take a while for Kelly to figure out who fits best.

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Jacksonville Jaguars salary cap outlook: Decisions coming on Eugene Monroe, Blaine Gabbert

Eugene Monroe will be a free agent in 2014 (USA Today Sports Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is underway. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $145.059 million (2nd-highest)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $23.036 million (2nd-most in the league, as of July 5, 2013)

Best Bargain: Wide receiver Cecil Shorts is entering the third season of his four-year, $2.67 million rookie contract and will earn $617,922 in base salary with a $728,767 cap figure. In terms of cap figures, Shorts ranks 105th among current NFL receiver contracts, which is good value for a player who caught 55 passes for a team-high 979 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. Shorts’ average yards per catch (17.8) and high touchdown total helped him finish 28th among NFL receivers in Football Outsiders’ DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) metric.

Potential Camp Casualty: The Jaguars trimmed a lot of fat earlier this offseason, cutting Laurent Robinson, Aaron Ross and Dawan Landry. The end result is just over $24 million in “dead” money counting against their cap, the second-highest total in the league. Prime candidates for release are usually aging veterans, players with high salaries in the final season of their current contract, or players who are coming off a serious injury. Who fits all three of those criteria for the Jaguars? Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a 28-year-old running back who is due $4.95 million in non-guaranteed base salary and missed most of 2012 with a Lisfranc foot injury that kept him from participating in the team’s offseason program. The Jaguars do not have great depth at the running back position, so Jones-Drew and his $6.8 million cap figure are unlikely to be moved.

Blaine Gabbert is entering an important season (USA Today Sports Images)

Looming Contract Issue: The Jaguars have two huge contract issues to address in 2014. The first involves left tackle Eugene Monroe, who is entering the fifth and final season of a $26.25 million rookie contract. Monroe was not an immediate success at left tackle, but has steadily improved and is very consistent player capable of manning the position for the foreseeable future. The Jaguars have protected themselves against losing Monroe next offseason by selecting Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, but having two good tackles is the plan and the team would be wise to keep Monroe off the market.

The second contract issue concerns quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has completed 53.8 percent of his pass attempts for 3,876 yards with 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 25 games and is coming out of a season where he played through a left shoulder ailment before suffering a season-ending injury to his right forearm. The reason 2013 is a “make or break” season for Gabbert is the Jaguars have until May 3, 2014 to exercise the fifth-year option in Gabbert’s rookie contract, which would be worth the amount of the transition tag for the 2014 season and guaranteed for injury only at the time it is exercised. If the salary cap remains flat at $123 million again in 2014, the transition tag for a quarterback will be worth $13.614 million, which would become fully guaranteed if Gabbert is on the roster on the first day of the 2015 league year.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Jaguars have around $100 million in cap commitments for the 2014 season, which has them among the bottom five teams in the league. Barring any extensions, the Jaguars will have in excess of $20 million to roll over into 2014, which could leave them with over $40 million in cap space next offseason.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders