Preseason odds for NFL teams offer a good way to look back to see expectations for the season and start to understand where things went wrong or right. Below, we will take a look at DraftKings Sportsbook’s preseason odds for win totals, division titles, player props and more while we discuss what led to their triumphs or disappointments.
Super Bowl: +3500
AFC South: +250
Win Total Over/Under: 8
Leonard Fournette rushing yards: 950.5
Nick Foles passing yards: 3,700.5
During the preseason, the Jaguars were given the 13th best odds of reaching Super Bowl 54 and the second best odds of winning the AFC South behind the Houston Texans. Much to the dismay of Jacksonville fans, they finished the season with a 6-10 record, putting them in last place in the AFC South, and falling two wins short of the over/under designation of eight. What’s more, Nick Foles passed for a measly total of 776 yards on the season after suffering an early clavicle injury, and later being benched for 2019 6th round draft pick, Gardner Minshew. The bright spot of the Jaguars offense was Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 1,152 yards, outpacing his player props by 200 yards. What went wrong and how can the Jags regroup for the 2020 season?
The Jaguars signed former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to a four year, $88 million contract in the offseason, with over $50 million guaranteed. He was able to complete only eight pass attempts in Week 1 before breaking his clavicle. This injury kept him out until Week 11, and rookie Gardner Minshew served as a surprisingly decent stand-in during that time. Minshew led the Jaguars to a 4-4 record in Weeks 2-11. The Jaguars never shied away from the pass game at any point, as Foles attempted 47 and 48 passes in Weeks 11 and 12 upon his return. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the job done. The Jaguars lost to division rivals the Titans and the Colts by over 20 points each in that span. Foles attempted 14 passes in Week 13 before being benched for the rest of the season in favor of Gardner Minshew, who finished out the season as the starter with a 2-2 record in Weeks 14-17.
Though Minshew was a pleasant surprise, the Jaguars have quite a dilemma on their hands, as they have Foles signed to a very large contract with serious dead money if he is cut or traded. They have a tough decision to figure out this offseason.
The quarterback roller coaster was the main headline grabber for most of the season in Jacksonville, however there was a portion of the season where all of the attention was on the defensive side of the ball. In mid-October the Jaguars traded star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for a 2020 first round pick, a 2021 1st round pick, and a 2021 4th round pick. The Jaguars lost perhaps the best defensive back in the league, but they received a king’s ransom for him and can hopefully make the trade pay dividends in upcoming drafts.
Along with the breakout of Gardner Minshew, the fantasy football community became very familiar with the name DJ Chark. The second year wide receiver out of LSU broke out for 73 receptions and 1,008 yards on the season, making him the team’s No. 1 WR. Most expected Dede Westbrook to claim that title, however it was Chark who seemed to have a spark with Garnder Minshew. Chark had a bit of a boom or bust nature, but he provided fantasy players with plenty of booms, including a Week 5 performance of eight receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers.
There are a lot of question marks regarding the Jaguars next season, but they do have a few things going for them. They have an extra first round draft pick for the next two years, a potentially talented young quarterback with a big time young wide receiver, and an effective workhorse running back in Leonard Fournette. Hopefully they can put 2019 behind them and fare better in 2020.
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