Photo Credit: NFL Mocks
It’s that time of year again. The NFL season is rapidly approaching, and with players having nothing much else to focus on besides getting ready to take the field in Week 1, some of them inevitably say things that are unreasonable but cannot be disproved until the season actually starts or ends. Recent Super Bowl champion Malik Jackson joined that club by predicting that his Jacksonville Jaguars will be Super Bowl LII champions.
“The Panthers did it. If the Panthers can do it after the [7-8-1] season they had — but we’re going to win the Super Bowl. If they can do it, why can’t we?”
The sixth-year defensive tackle out of Tennessee was a member of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in the 2015 season. It was he who scored the defensive touchdown that helped propel the Broncos to their 24-10 Super Bowl 50 victory over that 15-1 Carolina Panthers team he spoke about in his statement.
There is just one problem. Jackson isn’t a Bronco anymore; he’s a Jaguar. Jacksonville went just 3-13 last season and has averaged fewer than four victories per season over the past six seasons, and they have not had more than five wins in a season since 2010. They have not finished above .500, nor have they made the playoffs, since 2007.
Yet every year, there is hope surrounding the team from northern Florida. That hope is really that they won’t lose double-digit games for the first time since 2010, but they never even achieve that goal, as simple as it may sound to those who aren’t saddled with being Jags fans. Now Jackson comes along and predicts that the team will win the Super Bowl in his second season there. Has the Florida heat got to his head? Or maybe it’s the elevation change from no longer playing in the Mile-High city.
“That’s what I believe and, until we lose, that’s when I’ll believe different … I’m very confident. It truly feels different … I think it’s a lot of guys coming in here and coming to Jacksonville saying, ‘I’m gonna change this. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that’. We have leaders. We have a lot of great players. We just need to be consistent, and that’s on all three sides of the ball: offense, defense and special teams.”
Confidence is key in any sport. How else would we have seen some historic comebacks across the sports world even over the course of only the past year? But cockiness is another story. Remember all those Super Bowls at-the-time New York Jets coach Rex Ryan predicted his team would win with Mark Sanchez at quarterback? They never even made it to one.
Given how bad the team has been recently, the Jaguars are a team that the NFL world should have no problem seeing do well. But literally no one besides Jackson expects anything more than a playoff berth, and he’s out here calling a Super Bowl win. Interesting.