NFL schedules revealed; Jaguars have tough road ahead

Riley Platt, Reporter

Following the NFL Draft, excitement typically shifts to the season schedule being revealed a few weeks later. This took place on Wednesday with a new 17-game slate, but it shows that turning things around won’t be an easy task for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With all kinds of buzz surrounding the Jags, some fans expected more prime-time games in 2021. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case, as Jacksonville will participate in their usual standalone Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals in their only primetime appearance.

The Jags will hit the road to start the season, taking on the divisional rival Houston Texans in week 1. The home opener will take place the following week, on Sept. 19, as they host the Denver Broncos. They then play host to another team from out west, the Arizona Cardinals, on Sept. 26.

Next is the Thursday night showdown of young quarterbacks of the future, when the Jags visit the Bengals and Joe Burrow on Sept. 30. This meets the league minimum requirement of one primetime game per team, and it’s not a high-value spot. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues as the team continues to rise in both performance and popularity.

Week 5 sees the Jags return home to face the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans. Week 6 highlights a major gripe amongst many Jags fans when they square off with the Miami Dolphins in London. This has long been a source of controversy since its inception, as it takes away a home game from TIAA Bank Field. 

Following the trip across the pond, the Jags receive a bye week before hitting the road to take on the always-tough Seattle Seahawks. Things don’t get any easier as they take on the Buffalo Bills, who are coming off their best season (13-3) in a long time, at home the following week. Week 10 warrants a trip to Indianapolis to take on the Colts, who are likely to stray from last year’s success.

Weeks 11 and 12 serve a mini-home stand, with the Jags taking on the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons. This is countered by two subsequent road games, facing the Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans for their second meeting of the year. Another familiar foe, the Houston Texans, will be the opponent of week 15 in another AFC South repeat. 

Next is an AFC East road trip as the Jags meet with the New York Jets in a battle of the first two picks in the 2021 draft: quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. The Jags then face the New England Patriots, who are coming off their worst season (7-9) since the turn of the century. Finally, the Jaguars end the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 9 at TIAA Bank Field. 

While fans are optimistic, this schedule shows that things won’t be a cakewalk by any means. The odds aren’t great that this new-look Jags team makes the playoffs, but it’s certainly a possibility. It will come down to whether or not Jacksonville can win the games they are supposed to and maybe even steal some games they aren’t favored to win. 

All in all, things are changing for the better in Duval. However, that doesn’t mean that things will turn around immediately. It will likely take time to turn this team into a legitimate contender, so patience is necessary. We will ultimately have to wait and see just what the Jaguars can accomplish in their first season under the new guard, but there are significant signs that things will improve in the near future.


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