Professional football in Florida has certainly been lacking as of late.
The last time we saw a team in the playoffs from the Sunshine State was 2008, when the Miami Dolphins won the AFC East.
The focus here is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who last won a division title in 1999 and made their last postseason appearance in 2007. That year, Jack Del Rio’s team finished 11-5, beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round before succumbing to the New England Patriots one week later.
Since 2008, the Jaguars are a miserable 31-65. That’s quite an amazing reversal of fortune for a franchise that began its history in spectacular fashion. After a 4-12 debut in 1995, head coach Tom Coughlin led the team to four straight playoff appearances and berths in the 1996 and 1999 AFC title games. In their first five seasons in the league, Jacksonville was a solid 49-31.
But you can’t dwell on the past. These days, it’s Gus Bradley at the helm of this franchise. And he and the club hope to build on the team’s respectable 4-4 finish after dropping their first eight games of 2013. That late-season momentum often has a carry-over effect.
This is the third part of a 32-team series in which we’ll look at the “if, and & but’s” of each team’s chances to make the postseason.
And Jacksonville will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007…