Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 Predictions Review: I Was Right, I Was Wrong

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

2012 in a nutshell.
2012 in a nutshell.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the 2012 season mercifully in the can for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's time to seal the lid tight and never let it see the light of day again.

Before we do, however, it's time to review my preseason predictions about the team and hit the best and worst predictions about the season.

From Blaine Gabbert to Jeris Pendleton, it's time relive all the lows and, well, lows of the year.


Hit and a Miss on Maurice Jones-Drew

I never expected MoJo to miss any games with his holdout, so score one for me.

Of course, I didn't think he'd sit out camp either.

In the end, his later injury proved exactly why he held out and exactly why the Jaguars would have been crazy to cave to him.

Running backs get hurt too often for them not to fight for every dollar or for teams to overpay them.

It's a problem without any obvious solution.


The Jaguars Should Have Drafted a Quarterback

Gabbert's second year was a disaster, and had Gene Smith been looking for a new quarterback in the draft, the Jags could have had Russell Wilson.

Instead, they have a punter, and Smith lost his job.

Those who ignored just how bad Gabbert was in his rookie year or the warning signs that he was never going to pan out look foolish now.

It's not like believing Gabbert was a bust back in March 2012 was controversial. There were plenty of voices in the choir singing that the Jags had made a serious mistake with Gabbert.

So, yeah, on this point, I was right.


Mike Mularkey Was Under Pressure

When compared with Chuck Pagano, Mularkey never had job security. While he's still technically employed by the Jaguars, his tenure could end any day.

Mularkey isn't to blame for the mess that was 2012; Gene Smith wears that anchor around his neck. Still, 2-14 and a new GM will almost always lead to a dismissal of the head coach.

Mularkey did everything he could for Gabbert, but some things are just a lost cause.


Award-Winning Predictions

Despite missing most of the year with a foot injury, Jones-Drew could still be considered the offensive MVP of the Jaguars. He lead the team in rushing by more than 100 yards even though he only played six games.

Cecil Shorts is the real winner for 2012, however, snagging nearly 1,000 yards receiving and snagging most improved player as well. Let's pretend I didn't think Eben Britton would win that, OK?

Gene Smith won most likely to be cut, so that was a home-run call.

Justin Blackmon was the Rookie of the Year for the Jaguars, just as I expected.

Tyson Alualu was possibly the worst regular defender on the Jaguars, but there weren't many solid players on the unit. Let's call the defensive MVP the two-minute warning. Every time it rolled around, the other team took a knee and stopped gaining yards.

Should Have Gone Under

I thought the Jags would win around five games.

They won two.

They lost a couple of overtimes affairs that could have gotten them near the number, but for the most part, the team wasn't competitive.

The offense was always going to be a problem, but the real issue was the defense.


Oh Yeah, Regression

Honestly, I always knew the Jaguars could go backwards on defense, but I fought against saying it out loud.

It was so hard to find anything positive to say about the team last summer that I consciously chose to be optimistic about the defense. Sometimes, a writer can let the angry sounds of pitch forks and torches intimidate him into not taking a chance.

That was a mistake.

The Jags were prime candidates for regression, and regress they did. They finished in the bottom five of DVOA, helping to ensure that double-digit losses were unavoidable.

I thought that maybe a little help from the offense would offset the natural slide toward the middle, but that help never came, and injuries and bad players eventually buried the season.