- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Jaguars, who are coming off a franchise-worst 2-14 record in 2012, have a new general manager and coaching staff but also the same problems that have plagued the franchise over the past several seasons. The biggest positive is that running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who led the league in rushing in 2011, is healthy. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert is getting a final chance to prove he can be a productive starter, but he's out for the rest of the preseason with a hairline fracture in the thumb on his throwing hand.
The Jags drafted offensive tackle Luke Joeckel in the first round to help give Gabbert time to find a decent group of weapons in Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts and rookies Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders. Blackmon will miss the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. There's a lack of big-time playmakers on defense, especially when it comes to rushing the passer. (The Jaguars finished last in the NFL last season with 20 sacks.) The schedule includes games against Super Bowl contenders Seattle, Denver and San Francisco (in London). The Jags have back-to-back road trips to Oakland and Seattle and then St. Louis and Denver in the first six weeks.
Predicted finish in AFC South: fourth