The Jags removed the interim tag from head coach Doug Marrone, and they also brought in former head coach Tom Coughlin to be the team's executive vice president of football operations.
Coughlin led Jacksonville to the playoffs in four straight seasons from 1996 through 1999, and he is now tasked with making it a force in the winnable AFC South.
Here is a look at the Jaguars' 2017 schedule, per NFL.com, as well as further analysis regarding their overall outlook for the upcoming campaign.
|2017 Jacksonville Jaguars' Regular-Season Schedule|
|1||Sept. 10||at Houston Texans||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|2||Sept. 17||Tennessee Titans||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|3||Sept. 24||Baltimore Ravens||9:30 a.m.||N/A|
|4||Oct. 1||at New York Jets||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 8||at Pittsburgh Steelers||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|6||Oct. 15||vs. Los Angeles Rams||4:05 p.m||FOX|
|7||Oct. 22||at Indianapolis Colts||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 5||Cincinnati Bengals||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|10||Nov. 12||Los Angeles Chargers||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 19||at Cleveland Browns||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Nov. 26||at Arizona Cardinals||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|13||Dec. 3||Indianapolis Colts||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|14||Dec. 10||Seattle Seahawks||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|15||Dec. 17||Houston Texans||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|16||Dec. 24||at San Francisco 49ers||4:05 p.m||CBS|
|17||Dec. 31||at Tennessee Titans||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
Perhaps the biggest key to Jacksonville's success in 2017 will be the play of quarterback Blake Bortles. After a breakout season in 2015, he struggled last year, which means it could be a make-or-break campaign for the talented signal-caller.
Bortles threw 35 touchdowns in his second NFL season, but 2016 wasn't so kind to him, as he dropped to 23 touchdown passes to go along with 16 interceptions.
Upon joining Jacksonville's front office, Coughlin made it clear that Bortles needs to make significant strides in 2017, particularly when it comes to protecting the football, according to ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco:
There's plenty of work for everybody to do, Blake included. To raise the game to a higher level, it takes all components, though. ... And that's why I mentioned the protection, first of all. [It also entails] people being in the right place at the right time, the timing, taking care of the football, which is paramount to that position.
There can be no way the ball is turned over to that extent, so I think he'd be the first one to say that he has a lot of work to do. But we all have a lot of work to do, so I'm going to put it that way.
If Bortles can cut down on the turnovers and return closer to his 2015 form, the Jags have a chance to make some noise in what may be the NFL's weakest division.
Regardless of how Bortles fares, Jacksonville boasts a supremely talented defense that has the potential to reach an elite level.
Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweeted a look at the defensive depth chart following the signings of defensive lineman Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church:
Although the defense never reached its potential under previous head coach Gus Bradley, the combination of young and veteran talent could help form a special unit provided the players mesh properly.
The Jaguars were a disappointing 3-13 last season, but a quick turnaround isn't out of the question, especially with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft at their disposal.
The Texans have won the division in each of the past two seasons with a record of just 9-7, so turning in a winning record within the AFC South could go a long way toward helping Jacksonville go from worst to first.
Jacksonville went just 2-4 in the AFC South last season. Since the Texans, Colts and Titans all have major question marks and are far from complete teams in their own right, the Jags have a chance to be in the mix.
Provided Jacksonville can win those games and post at least a 4-2 mark in the division, it may only need to find two more wins to get in the playoffs.
The Jags haven't finished .500 or better since 2010, and while there is still a big mountain to climb, a change in leadership, an improved defense and potential strides taken by Bortles could make them a surprise division winner in 2017.