The Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 regular season is right around the corner, so we can begin to look at some of the games on the schedule and get a general feel for the football team. I went through the Jaguars schedule and picked out some of the key road games for SB Nation Studios and broke down the pivotal games.
The first pivotal game is actually the first game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings. We don't yet know if Maurice Jones-Drew will be there and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson might have a limited roll, coming back from his knee injury. It will be the first real look at the Jaguars new offense.
The second game is the dreaded west coast trip against the Oakland Raiders, which has really plagued the Jaguars in past seasons. The team will also be coming off a bye week, so we will get a good look on how head coach Mike Mularkey operates off of a bye week and a west coast trip. After five games at this point, we should also have a good gauge to where the passing game is on the season.
The final road game on the list is against the Houston Texans in Houston for their Week 11 matchup. This is a game the Jaguars will need to win if they want to compete for the playoffs in 2012 and if they're a good team, one they should be competitive in. It's also a team the Jaguars have struggled against Texans in Houston in the past, especially under Jack Del Rio. We'll also know how far along the pass rush is and if Justin Blackmon has hit the rookie wall yet.