Open Rants by Rcjames253

Why the 2017 Jags Remind Me of the 2007 Giants
Published at 12/14/2017
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First, I want to acknowledge that the Jaguars are having a better statistical regular season at this point in time than the 2007 Giants were having. Those Giants also finished 10-6 whereas I think the Jags will finish no worse than 11-5 if not 12-4. Their remaining schedule features the Texans, 49ers, and Titans. 

But lets look at the parallels. 

First, the quarterback position. Before the 2007 season, Eli Manning was considered a draft bust. People complained about his interceptions, his leadership style, his facial expressions, etc. They compared Eli to Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and, of course, Peyton Manning, and found Eli to be constantly lacking. That's not so different from Blake Bortles this year. The Jaguars had a miserable season in 2016 and all of the football media was saying that Jacksonville needed to replace Bortles in the offseason. In fact, his 5th year option wasn't even picked up by the team, making this 2017 season a career defining one for Bortles. And so far this year, Bortles has the best completion percentage of his career (60.2) and fewest interceptions (8 compared to 16 TDs) not to mention 282 rushing yards with 2 rushing TDs and 0 lost fumbles. Those stats are actually better than Eli Manning's 2007 stats. So, the Jaguars have a QB who came into the season being hailed as a draft bust who is outperforming expectations and NOT TURNING OVER THE FOOTBALL. (That's a big bugaboo for both Bortles and Eli.)

Second, the running game. If anyone recalls, the Giants unleashed a beautiful 3-headed monster that involved a LB sized RB in Brandon Jacobs, a do-it-all RB in Derrick Ward, and a scat-back in Ahmad Bradshaw. They were nicknamed Earth, Wind, & Fire and they were a hell of a trio. They had the 4th best rushing offense in the league in terms of yards, and 7th best in terms of TDs. Compare that to the 2017 Jaguars having the BEST rushing offense in the league in terms of yards and the 5th best in terms of TDs. Also compare that the Jaguars have their own 3-headed rushing attack in Leonard Fournette (Derrick Ward role), Chris Ivory (Brandon Jacobs), and T.J. Yeldon (Ahmad Bradshaw). 

Now for the defense. The Giants finished the 2007 regular season with 53 sacks, 16 fumbles, and 15 interceptions. I can't find the league ranking for them but remember that they had a defensive line that featured Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck. Let's look at the Jaguars. They have a +14 turnover ratio so far this season (Giants finished with a -9)!! That defense is ranked No. 1 in points and No. 2 in yardage. They have a total of 47 sacks, 16 fumbles, and 19 interceptions with 3 games left to play. 

The x-factor here appears to be Tom Coughlin as he is the VP for football operations for the Jaguars now and was the head coach of the Giants in 2007 (and 2011). 

For all intents and purposes, this Jaguars team is statistically BETTER than the 2007 Giants. But they appear to be following the same formula as the 2007 G-Men, hence the comparison. A stingy and hard-hitting defense. A dynamic running game. And a talented QB (you can argue with me about it, but you're not a 1st rounder if you don't have an abundance of talent) who just needs to not turn the ball over, convert a few third downs with his arm (or his legs, which Eli can't do), and manage a respectable drive that scores points to give the defense a breather every once in a while. 

I think this Jaguars team can and will go far in the playoffs. The biggest handicap they could face is not having Allen Robinson, but it hasn't appeared to be hurting them so far. To complete my comparison though, let's not forget that while David Tyree caught the football on his helmet in that beautiful Giants Super Bowl, Plaxico Burress was the one who caught the go-ahead touchdown in the corner of the end zone. 

Let us never forget...

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