3 NFL teams that look like playoff pretenders in 2023

Which NFL teams look like playoff pretenders in 2023?

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3. Jacksonville Jaguars

I think I am fully out on the Jacksonville Jaguars at this point. Just about a month ago, I think you could have made an argument for the Jags being legitimately one of the four or five best teams in the NFL. They were clicking offensively, playing well defensively, and you certainly were buying stock after the way they finished last season.

Now, the Jaguars have lost three straight games. They're 8-6, and they're in a three-way "tie" in the AFC South, even though right now they hold the tiebreakers. Jacksonville must have thought they could coast to the AFC South division title, but both the Colts and Texans have made that impossible for them to do.

Jacksonville is now in danger of potentially missing the playoffs altogether if they don't get their act together. Doug Pederson had this team playing so well down the stretch last season, and the formula then was obviously centered around Trevor Lawrence and the offense doing their thing, but also the defense forcing turnovers and creating momentum-shifting plays.

Since their bye week, the Jaguars have had a brutal schedule. They had to play the 49ers, Titans, Texans, Bengals, Browns, and Ravens. Nobody's going to sit here and say that Jacksonville has had it easy, by any means, but doens't it feel a little bit like the 49ers broke them back in mid-November?

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Things aren't getting much easier with the Buccaneers up next, but matchups against the Panthers and Titans in the final two weeks could save Jacksonville's season. I still don't think you can count on this team posing much of a threat in the playoffs if/when they make it.

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