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Jaguars face must-win in Week 3

For the Jacksonville Jaguars, the time has come to win or get out. Jacksonville was supposed to be one of the better teams in the National Football League this season, after general manager David Caldwell signed a slew of talent in the offseason.

Caldwell was aggressive with his cap space, signing defensive end Malik Jackson, running back Chris Ivory, left tackle Kelvin Beachum, corner Prince Amukamara and safety Tashaun Gipson. All of these players were expected to mesh with draft picks Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, who came from the first and second rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft, respectively.

Instead, nothing has gone right for the Jaguars. Jacksonville lost a narrow contest against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 at home, before traveling to take on the San Diego Chargers last Sunday. Most believed the Jaguars would find a way to even their record, but instead the visitors were trounced 38-14.

This weekend, Jacksonville is back at home to host the undefeated Baltimore Ravens in a game both it and head coach Gus Bradley absolutely has to have. If the Jaguars can’t find a way to slow down Joe Flacco. and Co., they will be 0-3 and staring another lost season in the face.

For Bradley, this could be his job. In his fourth year with the team, Jacksonville has finally put some real talent on the roster for the former defensive coordinator to work with. Ownership won’t look favorably on another bad season, this time coming with such lofty expectation.

If doesn’t help matters that the division is starting to get better. While the Indianapolis Colts continue to look like a team lost without a flashlight, the Tennessee Titans have a good young base of talent led by Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry. If Mike Mularkey can show that he deserves to be a head coach, there’s a real chance that Tennessee becomes a playoff contender soon.

Ultimately, Jacksonville can still salvage its season. While the Titans are getting better, the AFC South schedule could net four or five wins for Jacksonville. The rest of the docket got easier as well on Wednesday, with the news that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is likely lost for the season due to surgery on his torn meniscus.

The Jaguars have to figure out how to win, starting with Blake Bortles avoiding sacks and turnovers. If that can finally take place, the defense has to join the party by settling down. It is a lot to ask of a team not sued to competing for anything other than the first-overall pick, but Bradley doesn’t have any time to wait.


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