Now we'll be focusing on the X-Factors in the other positions on offense (besides wide receivers, of course).
The first and probably the most important possible X-Factor this year is Left Tackle, Eugene Monroe. The schedule this year is tough, and with tough schedules come tough pass rushers. The Jaguars will face the likes of Jason Babin, Mario Williams, Will Smith, James Harrison, Shaun Phillips, John Abraham, and Dwight Freeney; all of which have had 10+ sack seasons in the past two years. Therefore, in order for this season to be successful, Eugene Monroe, needs to live up to his 8th overall pick potential and keep them away from the QB. Monroe's first two years have been seen with mixed results, with the usual knocks being inconsistency. However, if he can render most of these players ineffective, we'll not only be in the playoffs, but he'll find himself as a shoe-in for a Pro Bowl bid,
The second offensive X-Factor is Left Guard, Vince Manuwai. The Jaguars rushing game was ranked 3rd in the league behind the Chiefs and Raiders.The emergence of Manuwai in the second half of the season was a factor in the Jaguars' success on the ground AND the scoreboard in late October and most of November..In Weeks 8-14 (6 games), the Jaguars went 5-1. During that period, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 100 yards in each game, as a whole, the Jaguars for 150+ yards 5 times, and they ran for 200 yards 3 times. Having Vince Manuwai blow defenders off of the line of scrimmage like he did in those games is a recipe for success.
The third offensive X-Factor is backup Running Back, Rashad Jennings. With Maurice Jones-Drew, recovering from injury and getting whacked by defenders, it will be important for Rashad Jennings to carry more of a load and stay productive (He has averaged 5 yards per carry, in each of the last two seasons). Rashad Jennings is more of a bruiser than a dasher, often looking to dole punishment to any poor soul that tries to tackle him Let's just hope that he can continue to make magic happen.
Possible Free Agent X-Factor: Nobody
That's right, nobody. Despite our perceived weakness on offense, we're actually pretty solid all around. Seriously, the best free agent I could come up with was Ahmad Bradshaw and that's about as likely to happen as John Brantley winning the Heisman this year. We have our future franchise QB, we have exceptional running backs, two bookend Offensive Tackles, and we have depth on the interior line and at the Tight End position. If everything runs on all cylinders, we can compete with any team in the league. Next, are the parts of the team that are keeping us from being one of the top teams in the league: Defense.
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