It was exactly a year ago that the Jaguars looked like perhaps the best young team in football. Since then, things have not gone according to plan.
In Week Two of 2018, the Jaguars beat the Patriots to improve to 2-0. That same Jaguars team had nearly beaten the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game the previous season, and it looked like Jacksonville was building a great young team for years to come.
In the 16 games since beating the Patriots, the Jaguars are 3-13.
What has gone wrong? Nearly everything. They realized that Blake Bortles, the quarterback they had drafted third overall and then given a big second contract, wasn’t the answer. Leonard Fournette, the running back drafted fourth overall, missed half the season and didn’t play well when he did play. Injuries were an issue, the team seemed to be tuning out coach Doug Marrone, and the Jaguars quickly went from the high of 2-0 after beating the Patriots to the low of 3-8 and out of playoff contention a couple months later.
This year isn’t looking any better. The Jaguars are 0-2, Nick Foles was hurt in his first game as Bortles’ replacement, and now Jalen Ramsey — who appeared to be the most important piece in a great defense — is requesting a trade.
Whether it ever works out for Marrone and Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville remains to be seen, but it certainly isn’t working now. That big win over the Patriots was only a year ago. It feels much longer than that.