Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 32 Jacksonville
By Michael DiRocco
A weekly examination of the Jaguars' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 32 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Jaguars lost their fifth game this season -- and 10th in a row dating back to last season -- Sunday, but there is a bit of optimism around the locker room because the team did make some progress on offense. They ran the ball for a season-high 96 yards and receiver Justin Blackmon made an instant impact on the offense in his return from a four-game suspension.
The loss of left tackle Luke Joeckel (broken right ankle) is a huge blow and is another in a list of injuries that have impacted the offense, but his replacement, Cameron Bradfield, played solidly in his place against the Rams and started 12 games for the Jaguars at right tackle last season. Quarterback Chad Henne will likely start in place of Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), who has thrown seven interceptions in three starts -- including three that have been returned for touchdowns.
But the sobering reality is this is still the worst team in the NFL, and this Sunday’s matchup is against the Denver Broncos, who are averaging 46.0 points per game. The Broncos are 28-point favorites, which ties the largest spread in NFL history, and it’s hard to argue that spread is unreasonable.