JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - With the emergence of quarterback David Garrard, the addition of receiver Jerry Porter and the confidence that the defense will return to its run-stopping, sack-happy ways under new coordinator Gregg Williams, the Jacksonville Jaguars believes it has a strong chance to get back to the playoffs and maybe even reach the big game.
To do that, the team likely will have to accomplish something it has struggled to do in recent years: beat Indianapolis and New England.
The Jaguars are 1-to-8 against those two AFC powers the last three years, finishing behind the Colts in the South Division each season and losing twice to the Patriots in the playoffs.
They hope to reverse the trend this year, knowing their best shot at getting to the Super Bowl starts with winning the division.
Defensive end Paul Spicer says his team is hungry, and they got "a few new faces and some wrinkles. All that is going to help us go out there and kick people's butts."
Even coach Jack Del Rio, who typically shies away from talk about lofty expectations, has embraced the notion that his team is one of the AFC favorites.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)