Until this year, 1999 was the last occasion in which Jacksonville Jaguars reached the AFC Championship game. Bill Clinton was President and the Jaguars' current head coach Doug Marrone was offensive line coach at Georgia Tech.
After 18 years of famine thereafter, 2017 saw the Jaguars turn into serial winners, culminating in them taking the AFC South title. The Florida franchise is now on the cusp of the type of glory that was all too recently unimaginable. This season, there has been a certain air of invincibility about the Jaguars, aided in no small part by Marrone’s reorganisation of the defense.
For a team once derided for an 'ugly' uniform, the effects of this are self-evident, with the Jaguars finishing 2017 top in a number of defensive categories:
The Jaguars’ high ranks in defensive touchdowns and interceptions have been
a crucial part of their disquieting propensity to outscore the offense. Their
rise has also had an impact on betting and, from the free bets at
Champion Bets to the deposit rewards also available online, a lot of
special offers are being used to back the Jaguars.
Every player has contributed in some way to what could become one of the NFL’s fairytale dynasties over the next few years. Yet, within the squad are several key men who stand prominently as MVP material.
Recently crowned ‘Defensive Player of the Year’, he ended 2017 a record breaker with 14.5 sacks for the Jaguars. Four of those came against Houston in the very first game of the season at a time when the Jaguars were still an unknown quantity and had 18 years’ worth of reasons to doubt them. That haul against Houston was also a new franchise record for a single game.
In addition to those record-breaking stats, Campbell’s status as a defensive rock is further bolstered by a return of 67 tackles, three forced fumbles, three defended passes and one defensive touchdown.
Identified as a possible 'elite' player by his head coach, the second Jaguar in the Associated Press All-Pro’s first team, Ramsey is the best of an excellent crop of young playmakers. Ramsey’s own personal brand of ‘trash talk’ has given him the potential to be highly marketable, but he backs up his tendency to be vociferous on the field.
Once a mere boy from Florida State, Ramsey has grown into a fine figure of a man, entering 2018 on the back of four interceptions and 17 pass deflections. His interception against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card match was a watershed moment in what promises to be a long and fulfilling career for the man from Tennessee.
His playing days have long been over but MVP status can also extend to the coaching staff in the eyes of some, and the Jaguars’ miracle rise would not be possible without Wash’s appointment as the defensive coordinator.
Encouragingly for the newer additions to a potential dynasty, his methods have not been complex. By simply analysing the main strengths of those at his disposal, he has ensured that the Jaguars have tilted the raw numbers in their favour, putting faith in the law of averages over an intricate system that can divide teams if ineffective.
At this rate, Super Bowl glory – whether this year or not – seems inevitable at some point in the near future. The New England Patriot’s monopoly cannot last forever, and there is currently only one franchise on the lips of those guessing the next long-term heirs to the throne.