JACKSONVILLE FL - NOVEMBER 14: Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans throws a pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on November 14 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The NFL pre-season schedule was released earlier today. The real question is, what will the regular season schedule look like when it comes out? As with last year, I expect it to be backloaded with divisional games, but it may be even more lopsided in 2011 than it was in 2010.
I'll keep this as brief as possible; the lockout is already affecting the way the NFL operates in the off-season, and the schedule won't likely be any different. The Jaguars could conceivably play the Colts twice in the second half of the season. I really think that half of the final 8 games will be divisional match ups. There could even be five divisional games in the last 8. What's that mean for us? Division titles will stay up in the air longer than ever before.
The easiest way into the postseason is with a divisional title. Let's say that the Jaguars play the Colts in week 14 and 17. I acknowledge, it's not likely, but it is possible. Logically speaking, the Jaguars could trail the Colts by 2 games going into week 14 and still win the division by winning out (which hasn't exactly been the Jaguars' strong suit in recent years).
I may be completely off target with this point. The NFL may release a normal schedule as well as developing a schedule to account for lost games. We really don't know, but the prospect of a backloaded schedule is very intriguing. It could make for a helluva finish.