For those of you that are unfamiliar with the FPI, or Football Power Index, it's a tool created by ESPN that predicts the future based on a team's power. Things that factor into this equation are Vegas odds, a polled panel of NFL experts, and the previous years' efficiencies (more information on how the FPI works).
According to the latest projections (through week five of the 2017 NFL season) the Jaguars are the 12th strongest team. Their major positives have been scoring margin, turnover margin, and passing yards allowed - the Jaguars lead the NFL in both scoring margin and turnover margin. The Jaguars have forced 15 turnovers in five games and only committed five. In terms of scoring margin the Jaguars have scored 139 points, an average of 27.8 points per game, and given up just 83 points, an average of 16.6 points per game. The negatives are almost certainly QB play and previous years' efficiency.
While the Jaguars are ranked 12th in the NFL they actually have some of the best odds to make the playoffs in the entire league. The FPI gives the Jaguars an 82.2% chance to make it to the playoffs. That percentage is good enough for third in the AFC, trailing only Kansas City and New England. The Chiefs would have to have the biggest collapse since the 2015 Falcons in order to not make the playoffs, while Patriots are led by the greatest combination of head coach and QB of all time. The Jaguars trail only those two teams in the AFC - cool stuff! Overall the Jaguars have the sixth best chances of making the playoffs, but the Jags don't need to worry about the NFC playoffs until February, if you catch my drift.
Along with the Jaguars fantastic playmaking defense, the Jags have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. They face the Colts twice, who even when/if Andrew Luck returns appear to be a mess; they'll face the Browns and 49ers - the two worst teams in the NFL; they'll also take on the Bengals and Chargers, both of whom are struggling in 2017. Their toughest remaining tests come against the Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, Titans, and Texans, but on paper they could be favored to win all but one of those contests.
Through five weeks it appears the Jaguars have a clear a shot as anyone to punch a ticket to the post season, but success in the NFL can be a fickle mistress. Stay tuned for more!
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