Malik Jackson is doubling down on his prediction for perfection in Jacksonville.
"I'm callin' it, 16-0. I don't think anybody can beat us as long as we stay healthy and do what we're supposed to do."
If this sounds familiar, you aren't dreaming. Jackson, last July, provided this feverish status report from his crystal ball:
That forecast was widely dismissed, but there was always reason to believe the Jaguars would improve behind a stocked defense roster. Their 10-6 finish morphed into a head-turning playoff jaunt that saw the squad knock off the Bills, stun the Steelers and nearly do the impossible against New England.
Angling to seek revenge against the Patriots in Week 2, Jackson -- shown photos of New England's Tom Brady sporting something of a dad-bod -- praised the quarterback's accomplishments, before quipping: "Hopefully Week 2, man, he's looking like that. He's a little sluggish."
As proven last autumn-into-winter, the NFL campaign is a wily, unpredictable piece of drama that specializes in surprise endings.