Jacksonville Jaguars Team History
Jacksonville was an unlikely choice as an NFL expansion city. When the NFL announced that it was going to expand, both St. Louis and Baltimore put together bids to replace the teams they lost in the 1980s, making them sentimental favorites.
The final five cities that were being considered were: St. Louis, Baltimore, Memphis, Jacksonville, and Charlotte. Jacksonville would be the second smallest television market in the NFL. For many that was a deal breaker. However, when the USFL played in Jacksonville. The Bulls led the league in attendance their last two years.
We all know how the vote went. Jacksonville, along with Charlotte, were the overwhelming choices by the current 28 NFL owners. Both teams would kick off their histories in the 1995 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Compared to Other Expansion Years
Compared to other expansion eras, the 1995 expansion teams were good right out of the gate. Jacksonville was in the AFC Championship Game in just their second season of play. Compare that to the previous expansion in the mid-70s that involved Seattle and Tampa Bay. The Seahawks won two games their first year and didn’t make the playoffs for eight years. The Bucs lost their first 26 games.
The Jags lost that 1996 AFC Championship Game. They made the playoffs in each of the next three seasons and were back in the AFCCG in 1999.
They would make it to within a game of the Super Bowl again in 2017. They again lost, this time 24-20 to the Patriots.
Jacksonville has a ring of honor which they call Pride of the Jaguars. It contains the first quarterback in franchise history, Mark Brunell, the best running back in franchise history, Fred Taylor, and five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
The first NFL draft pick in Jaguars history was Tony Boselli. He is also in the Pride of the Jaguars, as well as being the team’s only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – Jacksonville Jaguars
The biggest addition for the Jaguars comes via the subtraction of last year’s head coach Urban Meyer. With each story that comes out about his brief tenure in Jacksonville. It becomes more amazing that the Jags won any games.
In his place is former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. He has tons of quarterback coaching experience and offensive innovation to Trevor Lawrence. As well as the Super Bowl he won after the 2017 season.
We’re only a year removed from Lawrence being the consensus top quarterback prospect in years. So the assumption remains that the damage done by Meyer in 2021 can quickly be undone by Pederson and company in 2022. That company includes new offensive coordinator Press Taylor, who was the quarterbacks coach under Pederson in Philadelphia.
Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Picks
Also new to the Jaguars is first overall pick Travon Walker out of Georgia. His combine numbers were off the charts. Even though he didn’t rack up the sacks in his college career. The EDGE begins his NFL career with high expectations.
Walker, teamed with Josh Allen on the other side. They will make for a special pair of pass rushers and should give this defense some new life in 2022.
Other defensive additions include fellow first round draft pick Devin Lloyd. He will take the place of Myles Jack at linebacker. Jacksonville also expects to get a significant contribution from third round linebacker Chad Muma.
On offense there are also a number of new faces to go with the new offensive minded coaching staff. A third round pick was used on center Luke Fortner, who is expected to start right away. And the new wide receivers in Jacksonville include Christian Kirk, coming over from Arizona. Also, Zay Jones, who played in Las Vegas last season.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.