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’Tis the Season: A 2020 Jaguars' Christmas Wish List

Whether the Jaguars have been naughty or nice in 2020 is one thing, but what the Jaguars would wish for during their ideal Christmas is a different conversation entirely.

From Blitzen to blitzers, Rudolph's red nose to red-nosed challenge flags, Christmas and the NFL go hand-in-hand. 

Just as children throughout the entire world make pen their wish lists to Kris Kringle each year, NFL teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in a similar situation. 

While we may not see a Santa Claus hat painted onto the midfield when the Jaguars take on the Chicago Bears at TIAA Bank Field in Week 16, there will certainly still be a noticeable Christmas spirit in the air. With this in mind, the JaguarReport staff has put together what we think a Jaguars Christmas wish list would look like in 2020. 

What would the team hope for under the tree and in their stockings? Here are our guesses.

A(nother) New York Jets win

Santa already brought the Jaguars one amazing gift last week when the New York Jets upset the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. The only gift that could be better would be for Santa and his workshop to manufacture a way to help the Jets win *another* game, whether against Cleveland this weekend or the Patriots in Week 17. 

Another Jets win would help take the anxiety off the entire Jaguars fanbase and the city of Jacksonville, allowing the franchise's coaching staff and players to be able to pick up another win without the pitchforks and torches coming out.

As badly as fans want the Jaguars to drop these next two games for Trevor Lawrence purposes, the players and coaches want to win just as much as. For them, there would be no greater ending to the season in their eyes than to end the 2020 season with at least one win. So why not find a middle ground and hope the Jets can win a game to allow both the locker room and fanbase the chance to be happy.

-- John Shipley 

A healthier 2021 for kickers and defenders 

The Jaguars have been hit hard by injuries yet again in 2020. The offense has been mostly saved by injuries outside of a few lost games from Brandon Linder and Andrew Norwell ... but the defense and special teams haven't been as lucky. 

The Jaguars have had to use six different kickers this season as a result of a string of injuries at the position. Josh Lambo, Brandon Wright, Aldrick Rosas, Stephen Hauschka, Jon Brown, and Chase McLaughlin have all started games for the Jaguars this season, while even Keelan Cole has attempted an onside kick. As a result, the Jaguars are 29th in the NFL in team field goal percentage at 70.83% The Jaguars have gone through kickers at an amazingly quick pace this season, something they have to hope can prevent from repeating itself in 2021. 

Defensively, things have been just as grim. Only seven defenders who have recorded a stat have played all 14 games, with CJ Henderson, Josh Allen, Chris Claybrooks, D.J. Hayden, DaVon Hamilton, Myles Jack, Sidney Jones, and Abry Jones all missing extended time due to injuries. The Jaguars have had to reach to the deepest depths of their bench to field a defense at times this season, and it has shown with the results.

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-- John Shipley 

Bubble wrap for James Robinson

While most of us are unwrapping gifts from under the tree, the Jaguars need to be wrapping up running back James Robinson. He’s currently the most valuable person on this Jacksonville roster and responsible for almost 30% of the Jags production, making him the single biggest influence on the offense. He was held out of practice Wednesday as a precaution with an ankle but told coaches he wanted to go, according to Head Coach Doug Marrone.

But with the final two games doing little more than firming up draft stock and giving guys tape for the future, the established status James Robinson has created in this franchise in just 14 games means he can stand to take a step back and keep himself healthy the last leg of the season. While he likely won’t want to sit back all together, more reps for other backs and some work through the air will give him a break. And then this offseason? Lock him in a bubble if you have to. He could prove to be just as valuable to the future of this franchise as a potential No. 1 overall pick.

-- Kassidy Hill

A New Contract for Keelan Cole

D.J. Chark will be WR1 for as long as he’s in Jacksonville and understandably so. But let’s not undermine just how valuable Keelan Cole is to the Jaguars. Just a step behind Chark in receptions, targets, yards, yardage per game and big plays, Cole has become a strong counter in the Jaguars one-two receiver punch. If the Jaguars are to be working in a new quarterback next season, then having Cole underneath—where he’s become a security blanket for Gardner Minshew—with Chark deep can provide reliable options for Lawrence or Fields from day one. Cole also leads receivers in touchdowns (5). He’s in the final year of his rookie undrafted free agent contract and as he now famously told reporters early this season, “I like being a Jaguar. I’d rather be a Jaguar than a Falcon or a bird or some s*** like that.”

And while we’re at it Santa, give us that quote on a t-shirt. We’ll take it in every color.

-- Kassidy Hill

A Draft Conscious GM

With both Robinson and Cole on our list for Santa, it should be noted the Jaguars found a knack for signing free agents in recent years. So if there’s nothing else to former General Manager Dave Caldwell’s time in Duval, there’s that. But being a whiz in free agency and finding those diamonds in the rough should come as a compliment to drafting well, not in place of it. So they may not be asking Santa for a GM that will sign the deed to a platinum mine; just one that will pony up for a ready cut sparkling diamond as well as those the have to be dug for. No more “risk” in the first round like left tackles or unpolished running backs or “trendy” quarterbacks. They haven’t paid off. Take the guy you know is ready.

-- Kassidy Hill

A franchise quarterback  

The last time the Jaguars had a franchise quarterback, or at least a quarterback that resembled one, Mark Brunell was tossing passes to Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. They have had some serviceable quarterbacks since then (and some not so serviceable), but nobody who was really able to be the face of the franchise and carry the offense. 

The Jaguars could potentially change this in 2021. Getting the No. 1 overall draft pick would be a massive boon, but even the No. 2 overall pick would give them a chance to draft BYU's Zach Wilson or Ohio State's Justin Fields. Those two quarterbacks are not on the same tier as Lawrence and need a bit more seasoning to truly take over a franchise, but they at least have potential. For a Jaguars team that has so often had no hope or no answers at quarterback, potential may just be enough right now. 

-- John Shipley