Jaguars Come In at 32 in Peter King’s FMIA NFL Power Rankings

John Shipley

The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to be ranked near the bottom in terms of public perception in the national media when it comes to the 2020 season, with Peter King as the latest dissenter. 

In his Football Morning in America column, King put the Jaguars at the very bottom (No. 32) of his newly released power rankings, behind teams such as the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, and Washington. 

While King is far from being alone in his assessment of the Jaguars, it remains to be seen if the Jaguars will truly struggle as much as many are predicting. Jacksonville has never picked higher than No. 2 overall in a draft in franchise history, and they are coming off of a 6-10 season which was an improvement from 2018's 5-11 record. 

But there are still a number of reasons for those on the outside to be down on Jacksonville's chances to field a winning team next season, namely the fact that the Jaguars will be one of the league's youngest rosters due to the offseason departure of a number of key veterans. 

"I’m sure if Vegas has such a toteboard, it’d list Doug Marrone with the best odds of any NFL coach to be fired this season. It’s hard to blame him for the mass exodus of good players (Ramsey, Campbell, Bouye, Dareus, Foles) from the Jags. Still, Jacksonville is 11-22 since the day of the blown 10-point fourth-quarter lead in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Foxboro, and at some point soon, the coach has to pull his team out of that to keep being the coach," King wrote. 

"Marrone will need a good season from starter Gardner Minshew and a new coordinator (Jay Gruden) and QB coach (Ben McAdoo) for this team to have any chance to survive. There’s a good young nucleus on defense—pass-rushers Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback C.J. Henderson, though it’s hard to predict that two rookies will hit the ground running the way Allen did as a rookie last year. I wonder which lucky GM and coach will get handed Trevor Lawrence if the Jags are truly awful this year."

Head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell have both been given win-now mandates by owner Shad Khan in 2020, so if the Jaguars are indeed the worst team in the NFL, it should be expected that it would bring new change to the Jaguars' leadership group. 

There are plenty of holes up and down Jacksonville's roster as a result of cap-clearing moves and poor management decisions, and with Gardner Minshew II still being relatively unproven it can be understandable why one would have the Jaguars near or at the bottom of a power ranking of teams. With that said, Jacksonville has enough talent with Josh Allen, DJ Chark, Jawaan Taylor, and others to have a promising future, even if 2020 may be a rough year. 

At the end of the day, the Jaguars' 2020 record will largely hinge on the performance of Minshew in his first season as the team's full-time starter. If Minshew takes a step forward in his development and improves upon a rookie season in which he went 6-6 as starter and threw 21 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions, there is a good chance Jacksonville will be far from the worst team in the NFL. 

If Minshew struggles in his sophomore season, however, look for the Jaguars to be near the lead in the running for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State's Justin Fields. Either way, the Jaguars will continue to be ranked near the bottom of power rankings until they are allowed to hit the field and change the public perception through their play.

“I think it should put a chip on everybody’s shoulder on our team, know being kind of counted out like that," Minshew said last week. 

"I think we do have a lot to prove, prove that we are not what anybody says about us, the only people that really know, the only peoples whose opinions matter is who is in that huddle, who is on that team and I think we are going to set those expectations for ourselves and not worry about what anybody else has to say about us.”

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