Jacksonville, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers. These are a few examples of NFL teams in the tough position of making themselves competitors, or blowing the team up for a rebuild.
But why exactly are these teams in these tough positions? These franchises are in the midst of make or break seasons for 2019. These make or break seasons dictate how a team goes forward with their franchise, choosing to rebuild or add on to their core.
Led by their top-notch defense, the Jaguars had unlimited promise after their 2017 season. Blake Bortles had a career year, Leonard Fournette was fantastic, and their defense was the very best in the league.
Jacksonville found themselves one touchdown short of facing the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. Of course, they lost to none other than Tom Brady and the Patriots. Things took a turn for the worst the very next season. That top-notch defense turned out to be not so great this past year.
Bortles was benched multiple times in favor of backup Cody Kessler. Just to make things as bad as possible, Fournette missed the last half of the season due to a nagging Hamstring injury.
Jacksonville’s defense will be among the best for the next few years, but Doug Marrone needs Nick Foles to play like he did the in the playoffs the last two years.
If this upcoming season is much like last year, it might be time to move on.
Not much has came from the Falcons after their historic choke to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The next season concluded in a loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Last year was a continue of regression for Dan Quinn’s squad. Atlanta failed to make the postseason, hitting their lowest point since 2015. Nobody knows how much longer Matt Ryan can keep playing at a high-level.
Atlanta will be returning an injury free defense this upcoming year, which should get them into the postseason if Ryan can keep up his play. If not, then it could be time for Atlanta to prepare for a rebuild. Leeway must be granted to this franchise, due to the amount of injuries they sustained, including DeVonta Freeman. With this being said, the clock is still ticking on this team.
Los Angeles Chargers
While father time is inching closer and closer to Philip Rivers, the Super Bowl Window for the Chargers is shutting fast. This past year, Anthony Lynn’s squad finished with their best record since 2009.
Besides Rivers, this team is very young and very good. Rivers, a future Hall of Fame Quarterback, is good enough to lead this team to a Super Bowl victory, but they’ve found themselves coming up just short last year against the Patriots.
If Rivers retires before winning a Super Bowl, its no given that this team could find another Quarterback capable of doing so. The iron is hot in Los Angeles for Anthony Lynn, and the time to strike is now. Who knows when their next chance could be? Their Joey Bosa-led defense is near the top of the league. Combine that with a top-10 offense from last season, this year will be their best chance.
These franchises have some tough choices to make ahead of them in these make or break seasons. Winning or losing this upcoming season will make things clear going forward.