Jags fare decently well in PFF 2021 season simulation

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Expecting Jacksonville to go from a 1-15 finish in 2020 to being a competitor for the playoffs in 2021 maybe a bit of a stretch. But with that being said, the team did add a lot of pieces, including a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and a number of defensive signings aimed at aiding one of the worst units in the NFL a year ago.

A season close to the .500 mark may not be unthinkable for the Jags. Pro Football Focus ran 10,000 simulations of the 2021 season and took the average of the results. The product was a number that many Jaguars fans would likely take this season. First, here’s how PFF explains its methodology.

Using the PFF Elo rating system, PFF grades and available market data, we can simulate the 2021 season 10,000 times to accurately assign distributions for win totals, divisional title odds and the percentage each team makes the playoffs. We can also look at how often each team makes it to — and wins — Super Bowl 56

Jacksonville is projected to win 8.1 games, which would put it near the middle of the league. Though the Jaguars’ chances of winning the AFC South aren’t particularly high at 21.1%, their chance of making the playoffs, in general, is quite a bit higher at 33.8%.

Of course, even if Lawrence gave a similar rookie performance to that of former first overall pick Andrew Luck, who led the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs his first season, the Jags’ odds of making it to Super Bowl LVI are almost nil.

Their odds of reaching it are 2.6%, and the odds of winning it are even lower at 1.1%. It’s probably unrealistic to hope for the team’s first championship to come on the heels of the worst season in the history of a franchise that’s had many tough years.

Still, with PFF projecting about an 8-9 record for the Jaguars (with the expanded, 17-game regular season), that would likely be considered a major step in the right direction.