7-15-14: Toby Gerhart has been the hot topic for the Jaguars this summer, as Jacksonville has slowly let it be known that he is indeed going to be their featured running back. A long-time backup to Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, Gerhart is hoping to prove his critics wrong by being an effective starter. He should have every opportunity to do just that, as the Jags are said to be interested in getting him over 20 total touches per game. Jacksonville’s already improving offensive line should get a solid boost when training camp opens up for veterans on July 24th, as right tackle Austin Pasztor (shoulder) should be back at full strength.
6-5-14: Despite drafting UCF quarterback Blake Bortles third overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars have remained adamant that their new franchise passer will not see the field at all this year. Getting Bortles on the field quicker would likely boost Jaguars tickets sales, but the team instead plans to roll with Chad Henne for the entire season. Elsewhere, the replacement plan for often troubled wide receiver Justin Blackmon (out for season) hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly, as second round pick Allen Robinson will already miss several weeks with a hamstring injury.
5-19-14: The Jacksonville Jaguars appeared to be headed in the right direction with competitive play in 2014 and a strong showing in free agency. Let’s break down their 2014 draft class and see if their moves in this year’s draft stayed the course:
Round 1. Pick 03 Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Round 2. Pick 07 Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Round 2. Pick 29 Allen Robinson, WR, Penn St.
Round 3. Pick 29 Brandon Linder, OL, Miami (FL)
Round 4. Pick 14 Aaron Colvin, DB, Oklahoma
Round 5. Pick 04 Telvin Smith, LB, Florida St.
Round 5. Pick 19 Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas
Round 6. Pick 29 Luke Bowanko, G, Virginia
Round 7. Pick 07 Storm Johnson, RB, UCF
The Jaguars probably aren’t going to send their fans off fetching Super Bowl tickets just yet, but they really did have an amazing draft in 2014. They surprised just about everyone by selecting UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the #3 overall pick, giving them a legit franchise passer with great size, a good arm and nice athleticism. Bortles is expected to take the field in 2014, but offers a good amount of upside for 2015.
Jacksonville didn’t stop there, though, as they prepared for life without wide receiver Justin Blackmon, drafting two very talented receivers in Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson and round two. Both first round talents, Lee and Robinson not only are insurance for the often troubled Blackmon, but both will also be young, talented weapons that can grow with Bortles.
Elsewhere, the Jags grabbed some much needed depth for their still improving defense, while they also grabbed solid offensive lineman Brandon Linder in round three.
5-9-14: The Jaguars definitely needed a quarterback heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, but few actually expected them to take one with the #3 overall pick. They shocked the world early on in the first round, though, as they plucked homegrown Central Florida product Blake Bortles off the board. Bortles offers the prototypical size and arm strength, while also possessing deceptive athleticism. Fully expected to be eased in behind current starter Chad Henne, Bortles was a solid splash and a fantastic long-term investment at the game’s most important position.
4-28-14: Jacksonville didn’t have a ton of wins to show for it in 2013, but they appear to have the right coach and system in place to start making bigger strides going forward. With that said, they still need a lot of help. They’ll surely be looking for their franchise quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft, while they may also want to think about beefing up their already progressing defense. The word on the street is that the Jags will wait until the second round to select a quarterback, where they hope a sleeper like Eastern Illinois product Jimmy Garoppolo resides. That should allow them to make a major splash on defense with their #3 overall pick, hopefully netting them a stud pass rusher in Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack. If both of those guys are gone, it’s entirely possible they revert course and just take the best quarterback available, which could be Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.
4-18-14: Gus Bradley leads his Jacksonville Jaguars into the fire in his second season in 2014, and it will all start with a tough preseason schedule. The Jacksonville Jaguars preseason schedule gets started at home against fellow Florida-based Tampa Bay in week one, followed by a trip to Chicago to battle the Bears in front of a national audience. It gets serious in week three, as the Jags should offer up a real look at their week one starting lineup when they take on the Detroit Lions on the road. With a steadily improving defense and some quality additions, Jaguars fans will get a good idea of how much their Jacksonville squad has improved against an explosive Lions team. The backups will continue to compete to round out the roster come week four, as Jax finishes up August at home in style against the Atlanta Falcons.
4-7-14: Jacksonville kicked off the 2014 offseason by ending the failed Blaine Gabbert experiment, shipping him off the the 49ers for a late round draft pick. That led them to bring back Chad Henne to be the bridge for their next franchise passer, who they are fully expected to select in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Jaguars also made the decision to move on from aging running back Maurice Jones-Drew, as they brought in career backup Toby Gerhart to take over in the backfield. Jacksonville continued to build up their improving defense, as well, as head coach Gus Bradley brought in defensive linemen Red Bryant and Chris Clemson, two solid holdovers from his days with the Seattle Seahawks.
3-21-14: The Jacksonville Jaguars officially moved on from the Maurice Jones-Drew era, as they brought in former Vikings backup running back Toby Gerhart to take over the backfield. The team also moved on under center, as they sent failed franchise passer Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers for a sixth round draft pick. Jacksonville was busy elsewhere, beefing up their offensive line with former Broncos guard Zane Beadles, while also strengthening their defensive line by bringing on defensive tackle Ziggy Hood and former Gus Bradley pupil Chris Clemons. The Jaguars were a lot more competitive in 2013 than their record ended up suggesting, and with some key signings and a good draft, could be gearing up for a surprisingly solid 2014 season.
12-31-13: Following an 0-8 start, the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted nothing more than to march into Indianapolis and cap their second half of the season with another win. That wouldn’t happen. Chad Henne threw for 331 yards and a touchdown, but Jacksonville never got the ground game rolling in a 30-10 rout by the hands of the Colts.
12-24-13: Maurice Jones-Drew played through an injury and offered up 69 total yards, but it wasn’t enough to help the Jaguars hold onto a late 16-6 lead at home. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed the comeback for the Tennessee Titans, as he tossed the deciding touchdown just 35 seconds into the final quarter, giving the Titans the 20-16 road victory.
12-17-13: Chad Henne threw for 237 passing yards and two touchdowns, but was also sacked five times and tossed two interceptions in a close 27-20 home loss to the Buffalo Bills. Jordan Todman stepped up with Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined with an injury, as he piled on 150+ total yards in the loss.
12-10-13: Jacksonville struck early with two Chad Henne touchdowns and did enough late to hold onto a win over the visiting Houston Texans, 27-20. The win gave Jacksonville their fourth win of the season and their fourth in the past five weeks.
12-3-13: Jacksonville wasn’t supposed to be earning wins with regularity. Not after starting 2013 at 0-8. They continued to defy logic in week 13, though, as they earned a thrilling 32-28 win over the Cleveland Browns on the road. Maurice Jones-Drew threw a touchdown pass and Chad Henne had two more, while Jax forced Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden into several mistakes for their third win in their last four contests.
11-26-13: Just a few weeks ago Jaguars fans were wondering if their team would win a single game in 2013. Now they’re wondering if they’ll ever stop. The Jaguars’ defense played gritty football and picked off Case Keenum late to seal a hard-fought 13-6 win, giving the Jags their second win in three weeks following an 0-8 start.
11-19-13: Jacksonville was looking for it’s second straight win against the Arizona Cardinals in week 11, a week after earning their first victory since November of 2012. They wouldn’t get it, however, as Arizona scored the final 13 points of the game in a 27-14 home defeat.
11-12-13: The Jaguars knocked Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker out of the game in week 10 (foot) and held on for their first win of 2013 with a narrow 29-27 victory on the road. The Titans couldn’t get anything going on offense early, while the Jaguars simply took advantage of three Tennessee fumbles and converted touchdowns when in scoring position - something they had struggled with all year.
10-30-13: Jacksonville didn’t come close to beating the 49ers in London in week eight, as they simply had no answer for the 49ers’ dominant rushing attack in a 42-10 bone-crushing loss. The Jaguars did try to make it interesting by converting on 3-of-5 fourth down attempts, but simply couldn’t get it done in the red-zone as they suffered their eighth straight loss to start the 2013 season.
10-22-13: A week after giving the Denver Broncos all they had to offer, the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed to run out of gas in a 24-6 home loss to the San Diego Chargers. Maurice Jones-Drew struggled his way to just 31 rushing yards in a game that got out of hand early, while Chad Henne passed for over 300 yards and hooked up with injured wide receiver Cecil Shorts eight times. In the end, the Jaguars simply couldn’t run effectively on offense nor stop the run on defense in the home defeat.
10-15-13: The Jacksonville Jaguars were 26-point underdogs as they entered their week six contest with the Denver Broncos. Let’s hope you didn’t shoot for the spread. The Jaguars gave bettors fits in week six, as they picked off a Peyton Manning pass and returned it for a score in the first half, helping to keep an eventual blowout close until late in the game. Justin Blackmon kept things interesting on offense, too, as he hauled in a whopping 14 receptions for 190 yards to help the Jaguars move the ball more consistently than anyone fathomed. The Broncos adjusted and ended up putting this one away late, however, taking a 35-19 win into week seven.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continued their season-long struggle in week five, as even the return of wide receiver Justin Blackmon couldn’t help the offense enough to get the team’s first win of 2013. Blackmon certainly provided a spark and made things interesting early, however, as he ended the day with over 130 receiving yards and a touchdown. Blackmon’s efforts simply weren’t enough in the end, however, as Jacksonville once again got erratic play from quarterback Blaine Gabbert, and could not sustain an effective rushing attack with Maurice Jones-Drew. Backup quarterback Chad Henne entered the game in the final quarter for an injured Gabbert and made it close with a scoring strike to make it a seven point deficit, but the Jaguars couldn’t slow down Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and fell on the road, 34-20.
10-1-13: Jacksonville’s rough 2013 only got worse in week four, as Blaine Gabbert returned from a hand injury to toss three interceptions and help the Jaguars offense put up just one score in an embarrassing 37-3 blowout loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts. Jacksonville actually had some success limiting Indy’s rushing attack, as they allowed running back Trent Richardson just 60 yards on 20 carries. However, the defense was gashed by backup running back Donald Brown on a 50-yard run and couldn’t stop the Colts’ passing game all day. More importantly, the offense turned the ball over three times and absorbed four sacks in an ineffective performance that forced their defense’s back against the wall from the start.
9-20-13: The battle of arguably the two worst teams in the entire NFL took place in week two, as the Jaguars visited the Raiders in a late afternoon contest. Jacksonville struggled to generate any offense throughout this clash, but really found it difficult to move the ball once their top playmaker, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, exited for good with an injury. MJD finished with just 27 rushing yards on the day. Quarterback Chad Henne did help Jacksonville to their first nine points of the 2013 season, but took five sacks and simply couldn’t do enough to get the win. On the other side, Darren McFadden took advantage of the matchup to top 100 rushing yards in this one, while Terrelle Pryor relatively played mistake-free football in the 19-9 home win for Oakland. The loss drops Jacksonville to 0-2 on the year. Next week, they head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
9-10-13: The Jacksonville Jaguars had optimism entering this matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, but could only put a safety on the board as they fell to the Chiefs 28-2. Jacksonville’s offense struggled mightily throughout the game and even lost starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert to a hand injury. Things really couldn't have gone worse for the Jags, who have to hope that week 2 against the Raiders in Oakland is better.
9-3-13: Here are the Jags final roster cuts as they head into the regular season: QB Matt Scott, QB Mike Kafka, CB Marcus Trufant, WR Jeremy Ebert, DE Pannel Egboh, RB Jonathan Grimes, LB Brandon Marshall, WR Charly Martin, OT Pat McQuistan, OG Drew Nowak, CB Kevin Rutland, DT D'Anthony Smith, LB Julian Stanford, WR Toney Clemons, DE Ryan Davis, DT T.J. Barnes, OT R.J. Dill, TE Ryan Otten, WR Tobais Palmer, S Steven Terrell, LB Mike Zimmer.
8-20-13: Jacksonville fell to 0-2 on the preseason, losing 37-13 to the Jets at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. On the positive side of things, the Jaguars did hold a 13-10 lead at the half before their bench was outscored 27-0 in the 2nd. Blaine Gabbert had a good game, completing 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards and a 5-yard TD toss to Allen Reisner. In his first game action since injuring his foot last October, Maurice Jones-Drew only rans the ball 3 times for 9 yards. Denard Robinson carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards. Next up for Jags is the Eagles on Saturday in Jacksonville.
8-11-13: The Jaguars dropped their preseason opener 27-3 to the Dolphins. Blaine Gabbert was disappointing in his preseason debut, completing 5 of his 10 passes for 19 yards and an interception. Chad Henne was better, completing 8 of 11 for 87 yards. Running back Jordan Todman carried the ball 6 times for 45 yards and rookie Denard Robinson ran it 9 times for 32 yards.
The Jaguars started over again with new head coach Gus Bradley, but still are rolling with mediocrity at best at the quarterback position via Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne. More bad news for the Jags, as they’ll have to play the first four games of the year without wide receiver Justin Blackmon, and their defense isn’t expected to be markedly better than last year.
6-25-13: Blaine Gabbert is still the likely culprit at quarterback in 2013, but his short-comings may not be so evident if veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew can return to top form and be the beast he was just two seasons ago. Considering he’s in a contract year, he’ll have every bit of motivation to do exactly that.
On the flip-side, Jacksonville has started over with a new regime, and one of their main focuses has been improving a shaky defense. Rookie safety Jonathan Cyprien could help make Jacksonville’s home game average price of just $132 end up being quite the bargain.
2013 Jaguars Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 2: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Round 2, Pick 1: Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Round 3, Pick 2: Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut
Round 4, Pick 4 (from Philadelphia): Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
Round 5, Pick 2: Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan
Round 6, Pick 1: Josh Evans, FS, Florida
Round 7, Pick 2: Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State
Round 7, Pick 4 (from Philadelphia): Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State
12-4-12: The Jags have looked like a much better team since Chad Henne has taken over at Quarterback. Forcing the Texans into overtime was a huge surprise and since then they have gone 1-1. Their next matchup is against the New York Jets at home. At 2-10 they have no shot at the playoffs but may look to play spoiler and build towards next season. Chad Henne has thrown for over 800 yards in three games since taking over as full time starter.