Will the Jags win more than 5 games?
JACKSONVILLE, FL (The Spread) – Will the Jaguars surprise and win more than 5 games in 2014? Let’s take a look.
The line for total wins has been a 5 wins for the Jacksonville Jaguars or more specifically, oddsmakers at Bovada shows 5 -135 for the 'over' and 5 +105 for the 'under.’ Laying -135 is a bit steep, but there are strong reasons to bet the 'over' for this vastly underrated NFL team. Blake Bortles will be the answer for them at quarterback and he will start somewhere in the first half of the season.
Bortles has all of the tools to be an NFL starter and has the potential to be a franchise quarterback in the years ahead. His biggest asset is his laser arm, but he has also displayed amazing poise, command, and pocket presence in his first two preseason games. Pocket presence is often a discussed topic with QBs and it is not something that is developed. QBs either has it or they don't. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are arguably the best with 'having eyes behind their head' as they consistently can move just a few yards to avoid the 'feel' of a pass rushing bearing down on them. That small movement translates into the added split seconds allowing for passes to be executed and completed down field. Bortles has these skills and it is only a matter of time till he is under center for his first NFL start.
The press, though, consistently reports that Jag's brain trust Gus Bradley and David Caldwell are bringing Bortles along slowly and that he will be an apprentice under starter Henne. However, the student has skills far beyond the teacher and I truly believe that Borltes could lead the Jag's to four wins all by himself in the second half of the season.
Also of note is the potential for the combination of receiver Marquis Lee and Bortles to be one that rivals storied partnerships like Brady and Moss/Welker, and Montana and Rice. I realize that is a very bold statement and these types of predictions are not my norm. Yet, with Bortles elusiveness and rock arm, he can hit Lee in space and allow him to make plays. Such was the case with the aforementioned partnerships and many others deserving mention. Thos partnerships were designed for quick hitting pass routes with emphasis on yards after the catch.
The season schedule has not been all that kind to the Jags. They start out having to play Philadelphia, then Washington, Indianapolis, San Diego, and Pittsburgh. I wish no ill-will on any person, but this type of schedule is very difficult and the QB nearly always gets the blame. So, this gantlet works in favor of Bortles starting, possibly by Week 6 when they visit the Titans.
Bottom line is that this is a team on the rise and one that certainly could battle for second place in the AFC South Division.