It's a simple one, too: A great quarterback can cure a team's ills, and a bad one will expose them.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck helps overcome all his team's shortcomings to lead them to a 6-5 record, while the Jaguars issues have been on display all season long – and much of the past four seasons – because of Blake Bortles.
The Jaguars announced this week they fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and benched Bortles for Cody Kessler. It's a mess as they are 3-8 and have gone from Super contender to a potential team picking in the top-5 of next April's NFL Draft.
Luck has led the Colts to six five victories to get to 6-5 and push for a playoff spot. His play has been MVP-like as he's thrown 32 touchdown passes, including three in each of the past eight games.
The idea that his surgically repaired shoulder could end his career, which some expected for much of the past year, seems absurd now. Luck is the sure-fire winner of the league's comeback player of the year honors and a potential MVP winner.
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His plays has the Colts up to ninth in my Power Rankings this week, making them one of the true shocking teams of this season.
The Jaguars are a surprise the other way since they are down to No. 28 in the rankings with seven consecutive losses.
They are two teams going in opposite directions for one important reason, a tenet that will never change in the NFL, no matter what style of play takes over league.
Great quarterbacks bring staying power.
Bad ones bring firings and disarray
|They are clearly the best team in the league right now. They do face a tough game at Dallas Thursday night.||--||12-4-0|
|They come off their bye with a road game at Detroit. The defense needs to be better down the stretch.||--||10-6-0|
|They come off their bye needing to tighten up the defense some. Patrick Mahomes should have a field day this week against the Raiders.||--||14-2-0|
|They came off their bye with a nice road victory against the Jets. They had to be thrilled to get production from Rob Gronkowski again.||--||7-9-0|
|Their defense is for real. Can it carry them to a Super Bowl in a season full of offense for the NFL?||1||8-8-0|
|They bounced back nicely this week from their loss a week ago, but now face a tough road game against the Steelers.||1||7-9-0|
|They face a tough turnaround after losing to the Broncos with the Chargers coming to town.||2||12-4-0|
|They are as hot as any team in the league right now. The offense is really improving and the schedule is soft. Could a bye be coming?||--||4-12-0|
|With five straight victories, they are in the thick of the playoff race. Watch out this week in Jacksonville.||1||11-5-0|
|The defense is starting to look like the unit we expected to see. The injury to Xavier Rhodes hurts.||1||7-9-0|
|They are in first place after three straight victories. But here come the Saints Thursday night.||1||6-10-0|
|The Seahawks have the look of a playoff team after winning at Carolina Sunday. Russell Wilson has been outstanding in the fourth quarter.||1||12-4-0|
|Three consecutive losses have the Panthers in big trouble. They need to turn it around quickly.||4||5-11-0|
|Lamar Jackson is 2-0, which should mean he stays in as the starter this week.||1||11-5-0|
|Without Alex Smith, they have problems on offense. They play a must-win type of game this week against the Eagles.||1||7-9-0|
|The loss to the Texans Monday is a damning blow to their playoff chances. They still have a chance - but have to pick it up.||--||11-5-0|
|Even with Aaron Rodgers, they are on their way to missing the playoffs. That shouldn't happen.||--||13-3-0|
|They kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a victory against the Giants. They now face a must-win game against the Redskins.||--||4-11-1|
|With two straight impressive victories and a soft schedule ahead they could be a playoff team. The defense will key it if it happens.||3||5-11-0|
|They blew another fourth-quarter lead last week to the Colts. The wild-card playoff chances are slipping away.||1||10-6-0|
|Baker Mayfield is playing outstanding football and they have a future star runner in Nick Chubb. Next year will be fun.||3||11-5-0|
|Is this the end for Marvin Lewis? They get worse by the week.||2||4-11-1|
|They are done now after losing to the Saints. Injuries crippled the defense all season long.||2||4-12-0|
|This team is toast now after losing at home to the Bears. There are questions about Matt Stafford now, but he has little help.||1||5-11-0|
|Their little push to possibly be a playoff team is done. Do they sit Eli Manning at some point?||--||6-10-0|
|The offense has to use the last five games to evaluate Jameis Winston. This past week was a good start.||2||11-5-0|
|Sean McDermott has this team competing each and every week. That's a good thing.||--||13-3-0|
|They fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and benched Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler. Bet they aren't the final changes coming to this team.||2||1-15-0|
|The defense just isn't close to being good enough. The offseason will be fun.||--||8-8-0|
|Did they quit against the Chargers? It sure looked like it. That's not a good thing for coach Steve Wilks.||--||8-8-0|
|The issues with linebacker Reuben Foster, who was released, won't help this team going forward. This season has been done for a while.||--||6-10-0|
|They are just getting ready for the offseason. Sam Darnold needs to get back to begin playing for the future.||--||2-14-0|