For two years the Jaguars poured resources into the defensive side of the ball, and last year all the free-agent signings and draft picks coalesced into the NFL’s most dominant defense. Jacksonville ranked first in defensive fantasy scoring, in large part because of a league-high seven touchdowns. The Jags had the best pass defense in the league, giving up a mere 6.0 yards per pass attempt, holding opposing QBs to a league-low passer rating of 68.5, allowing 17 TD passes and recording 21 interceptions. DE Calais Campbell, a key free-agent signing, tied for second in the league with 14.5 sacks, and the Jaguars’ 55 team sacks were just one off the league lead. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye form one of the top CB tandems in the league. In addition to Campbell, the front seven also includes standouts Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue.
Barring a catastrophic wave of injuries, there’s basically zero chance this defense busts. But there is a chance that Jacksonville falls well short of the 203 defensive points it put up last season. Defensive scoring is fickle, which is why it’s generally not a good idea to sink significant draft capital into a team defense. The Jaguars’ defense should be stingy yet again, but maybe it picks off fewer passes and only scores two defensive touchdowns this year instead of seven.
Defensive line, linebacker, secondary -- the Jaguars are stacked at every level of the defense. Expect continued defensive excellence in Jacksonville.