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The Jaguars should be the favorites in the AFC South.

A detailed view of a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet during the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 29, 2019 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

The Jacksonville Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL in 2021.

The organization was riddled with dysfunction and a lot of it was caused by former head coach Urban Meyer.

But for three weeks this year, the Jaguars look like a good football team.

Most importantly, they look like an AFC South contender.

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The South is having a rough start to the year as the Colts, Texans and Titans all have one win.

But Jacksonville sits at the top of the division, and it doesn’t seem like a fluke.

The addition of Doug Pederson as their new head coach has opened things up for the offense.

Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence seems to be figuring out NFL defenses, and his production confirms it.

Lawrence has thrown for 772 yards and six touchdowns with an interception in three games.

After throwing more interceptions than touchdowns last year, he’s showing massive improvements.

The most impressive win of the season came in Week 3 for the Jags.

They went on a visit to the Los Angeles Chargers and dominated them for four quarters.

Jacksonville recorded 413 yards of total offense and was surprisingly able to hold the Chargers to just 10 points.

Apparently, the entire defense has stepped up this year for the Jags.

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In Week 3, they limited the Chargers to just 26 rushing yards.

As well as making life difficult for star QB Justin Herbert.

Herbert was battling a rib injury in the game, but Jacksonville did what they needed to slow him down.

Through three games, the Jags are tied for fourth in points allowed at 12.7 and seventh in yards allowed at 306.7.

It’s very impressive to see the turnaround of this entire team in one offseason.

But do they have what it takes to continue this high level of play for the rest of the season?

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dominate the division

The Jags’ best chance of making the playoffs is to beat the minor teams in the AFC South.

Their aforementioned run defense may be a big reason they make a playoff run.

In Week 2 they hosted the Colts, which is one of the best running offenses in the NFL.

However, they destroyed their division foes by closing out the running game.

Jonathan Taylor had just 9 rushes for 54 yards in that game and the Jags’ defense exposed Matt Ryan.

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Ryan threw three interceptions in that game as the Jaguars won 24-0.

This defense is no fluke: It’s been years of draft picks acquiring talent on that side of the ball.

The Jags are getting key contributions from three first-round picks on that defense.

Travon Walker, Devin Lloyd and Josh Allen were the best options.

Lloyd has been especially good at leading the team in tackles and interceptions so far this season.

Jacksonville still has five division games remaining, including two against the defending division champion Tennessee Titans.

But having great run defense in a division with teams that love to run the ball bodes well for their chances of winning.

This Jags team is young, full of energy and led by the right head coach, which should rack up a shot at winning the South for the first time since 2017.


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