- The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new starting QB in Nick Foles
- Can Foles improve a Jags’ offense which struggled with previous QB Blake Bortles?
- Are the Jags worth a futures bet at such long odds?
The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a splash in NFL free agency by signing ex-Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles. Foles signs on a four-year $88 million deal to join the Jags.
Jacksonville isn’t getting much love from bookmakers as their average Super Bowl odds sit at +3800.
However, those odds have shortened from an average of +4500 on February 13. If you shop around, you can still find them at +5000 over at MyBookie.
So value is still out their if you’re a Jags’ backer.
Super Bowl 54 Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken March 11; click on the link in the table above to see all options.
Foles Signs with Jaguars
After struggling on offense the past number of years with Blake Bortles under center, the Jags will hope Foles can balance out a team which already features a strong defense.
The 30-year-old joins Jacksonville on a four-year deal, which includes $50.125 million of guaranteed money. In total, the contract could reach as much as $102 million.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2019
Foles has spent the past two seasons in Philly as a backup to Carson Wentz. However, he has been pushed into the starter role in both seasons.
In 2017, that included playing in seven regular season games and guiding the Eagles to a Super Bowl 52 championship. Foles also went on to win Super Bowl MVP honors.
Last season, he played five regular season games. He went 1-1 to start the year and returned to win three straight from Weeks 15-17, helping the Eagles reach the playoffs.
nick foles went from almost retired to a super bowl ring and MVP plus 50M GTD
one of the greatest comebacks ever pic.twitter.com/s5ibtfH4DA
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) March 11, 2019
In the playoffs, he helped Philly defeat Chicago 16-15 in the Wild Card Round, before coming up short 20-14 to New Orleans in the Divisional Round.
How Much of an Upgrade is Foles Over Bortles?
With the signing of Foles comes the pending release of Blake Bortles.
In five years of Bortles at the helm, Jacksonville had a combined record of 26-54. The high point came in 2017 when the Jags finished first in their division at 10-6 and lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Though it was Jacksonville’s best season since 2007, it was usually the defense which did the heavy lifting. In fact, Bortles threw a total of 75 interceptions during the regular season in his five years.
The #Jaguars are expected to release QB Blake Bortles when QB Nick Foles’ deal is official and signed, I’m told. Will be a few days. But Bortles will be free.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2019
In 2018, the Jags came back down to earth, finishing last in the AFC South with a 5-11 record. Bortles threw for under 3,000 yards and only 13 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions, while the Jags’ passing offense ranked 26th.
With the offense lagging and Bortles butting heads with teammates, backup Cody Kessler was brought in, yet only managed a 2-2 record himself.
Jags’ Futures Could Be A Bargain
While moving from the basement of the AFC South to Super Bowl champion is a tall order, a bet on the Jags would have to come with the assumption they can replicate the form that took them to the AFC Championship two years ago.
The defense should still be strong which, ranked fifth overall last season.
Jacksonville will need to put more points on the board after recording the second-fewest points in the league last year, only ahead of Arizona.
Jacksonville will need to put more points on the board after recording the second-fewest points in the league last year, only ahead of Arizona. They’ll also need healthier seasons from members of their offensive line and from star running back Leonard Fournette, who only played eight games in 2018.
The AFC South continues to improve and their 1-5 division record will have to do so as well.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) March 11, 2019
Foles was 10-3 as a starter for Philly the past two years. In the playoffs he was 4-1 with nine touchdowns to five interceptions.
In Jacksonville, he’ll be reunited with offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, whom the Jags also just signed. DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach with Philly in 2017.
While Foles has often been inconsistent throughout his career, he’s definitely an improvement over Bortles. I’m not sure they can make the jump to Super Bowl champions, but a playoff berth could be in the cards.
And a playoff team at +5000 odds is something I can make a wager on.