2011 Jacksonville Jaguars Predictions
Odds to win the Super Bowl: 75-1
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Can Stagnant Jags Improve Uninspiring Defense, Get Back Into Playoff Mix,
The Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8 SU, 9-7 ATS, 12-4 O/U) went 8-8 last season but have not recorded a winning record since going 11-5 back in 2007, mostly because the team has become one of the most mediocre defensive units in the league.
Now the Jags will try to get back to being a winning ballclub in 2011, but getting there is easier said than done as the team’s one playoff win in the last 11 years attests. No doubt, head coach Jack Del Rio and starting quarterback David Garrard are both on a short leash this season.
Jacksonville really struggled to throw the ball with any sort of success last season, ranking 27th in passing. The good news is that the Jags finished third in rushing the ball, but the lack of balance hurt them big-time.
Yes, Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 1,324 yards while averaging 4.4 yards per carry, but David Garrard didn’t reach 3,00 passing yards in 2010 while tossing 15 picks to nearly counteract his 23 TD passes.
If Garrard falters badly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jacksonville give first round draft pick Blaine Gabbert (No. 10 overall) a shot at starting. However, I’m not real impressed with the Jags’ receiving corps with Mike Thomas catching a team-high 66 balls for 820 yards.
Defensively, the Jags ranked 28th against the pass and 22nd against the run and need to shore up both areas of their defense.
Jacksonville drafted just two defensive players (crazy) and apparently is prepared to deal with their defensive issues mostly as is. The Jaguars don’t have a single Pro Bowl caliber player on the defensive side of the ball, so this team could be in big trouble again if someone doesn’t step up to led this unit.
To be quite honest about it, I don’t think Jacksonville has a defensive player on the roster that could start for many other teams in the league and until they get some talent on this side of the ball, they can expect to flounder in mediocrity all season long.
I think the Jags could very well open with a home win over Tennessee before losing on the road against the Jets and Panthers.
A home loss to New Orleans follows in Week 4 but then Tennessee gets win No. 2 at home against Cincinnati one week later.
Things will get real ugly for the Jags at this point as they suffer a string of losses at Pittsburgh, home against Baltimore, at Houston, at Indianapolis and at Cleveland. Jacksonville will go all out to try and beat the Texans at home in Week 12, but it won’t happen.
More losses will follow at home against San Diego and Tampa Bay in Weeks 13 and 14 before Jacksonville gets walloped on the road at Atlanta.
Cal me crazy, but I like the jags to drop their final two regular season games as well at Tennessee and home against the Colts to finish with a pitiful 2-14 SU mark or somewhere right around that figure give or take a loss or two, tops.
By the Betting Numbers
NFL gridiron gamblers can also expect the Jaguars to finish under 8-8 ATS in 2011 as they struggle to stop their opponents from scoring consistently.
When you’ve got serious defensive issues like the Jaguars – and fail to address them like the Jags did – then you’re going to get what you deserve, a likely 2-4 win season that produces six ATS wins and 10 Over plays against the O/U Total! -Eric Williams
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