(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
I know. I'm being a "homer" with this prediction. but let me flesh one this out. In the end, you won't agree probably but at least you'll respect my argument.
Jack Del Rio is scrambling to keep his job. Wayne Weaver is desperate to keep his team in Jacksonville. New GM Gene Smith is fighting to bring the Jagaurs back to respectability without sacrificing character. That is a lot of motivation.
David Garrard showed up to camp 15 pounds lighter to prove he is worth the money he's being paid and that he deserves to be a starting QB for the Jags.
Maurice Jones Drew wants to prove he can carry the load without Fred Taylor and is worthy of the huge contract he signed off season after season.
Torry Holt wants to prove his best years aren't behind him, while also mentoring a very young yet talented receiving corps.
Del Rio is killing the boys in training camp. Two-a-days in piecing heat with full pads. CBS Sportsline reporter Pete Prisco, who is touring multiple team's training camps, stated that the Jaguar's practices were the "Most physical of any that I have seen."
That translates to a team that will be mentally & physically tougher than they were last year.
My argument: Remember the Jags have the Rams, 49ers, Browns, Bills, Chiefs, Jets, and Seahawks on their schedule. All were also-rans last year. They match up against the Titans and Texans twice.
Both are teams who could take steps backwards this year. They play the Cardinals & the Dolphins. Both teams had amazing years last year. But were they flukes?
Finally, we play two games against a playoff team that is another year older, lost their inspirational head coach, and still has serious issues on the defensive side of the ball. That leads me to my next prediction...