Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars very nearly made the Super Bowl. The surprise team of 2017, the Jags rode one of the NFL's best defenses to a 10-6 record during the regular season, the defeated the Bills in the fist round of the playoffs and upset the Steelers on the road in the divisional round. Had they not blown a second-half lead against the Patriots in the AFC title game, they might have ended up Super Bowl champs. 

The Jags are considered one of the favorites in the AFC this season, to the point that both CBS Sports lead NFL analyst Tony Romo and CBS Sports senior writer Pete Prisco are both predicting them to be the conference's representative in Super Bowl LIII. That confidence in the Jaguars' fortunes extends to the team itself. 

Linebacker Telvin Smith is not shy about how much he believes in his team. 

"I think we're the best team in the league," Smith said, via the team's official website. "I am not knocking anyone. There are some talented teams out there. If I don't lock in right now and believe wholeheartedly that my team will be the last team standing, then I don't think you really are ready for that fight that is about to come."

Smith, however, knows that talk is cheap. Anyone can talk about Super Bowl aspirations during the preseason, when every team is 0-0. It's another thing to back up that talk. 

"Don't get me wrong. It's great to talk Super Bowl. It's great to talk 16-0, but you don't get to 16-0 without 1-0," Smith said. "We've got to make sure we understand the ultimate goal and don't get outside of getting ready to play these games and make sure we focus on the one that we've got first."

The Jaguars expressed similar confidence prior to last season, with Calais Campbell notably predicting that the Jaguars would be one of the NFL's best teams. He was right. Smith noted that even high expectations like the ones this team sets for itself are only an issue if you don't believe what you're saying. 

"I think you can only set the bar too high when you do not believe in yourself," Smith said. "I think this team is full of confidence, full of talent, full of hard work and dedication. The bar is as high as we set it. It is not where can we go, it is where do we want to go. That is what we are working on right now, making sure we go where we want to go come February."