Predicting the Schedule

WEEK 1- at Tennessee Titans. When all was said and done, I narrowed this one down to a divisional game, because the NFL typically likes to schedule the Jaguars against divisional opponents on week 1. In 2009, they took on Indianapolis, and in 2011, it was Tennessee. Another trend that the NFL does to the Jaguars is that they make them open up the season on the road. In 2008, it was at Tennessee, and in 2009, it was at Indianapolis, and in 2012, it was at Minnesota. So, having narrowed it down to a road divisional game, I decided not to choose Houston (you'll see why in week 17). I also chose against Indianapolis, because I see Indianapolis taking on Denver on Sunday Night Football in the much-anticipated return of Manning to Indianapolis. That leaves one option left- the Tennessee Titans.

WEEK 2- vs. Arizona Cardinals. I can't really explain this one, except for the fact that since 2009, the Jaguars have played a week 2 opponent from the central time zone or further west 3 times out of 4 possible tries (the lone exception was the 2011 New York Jets, which was McCown's final game as starting quarterback). Because I think that San Diego has the opening game on Monday Night Football, I can't see them making a cross country trip on a short week. It has to be a home game, because I've got week 3 as a road game, so that leaves just one option left- the Arizona Cardinals.

WEEK 3- at Indianapolis Colts. Since 2008, the NFL really likes to schedule the Jaguars and the Colts in September. In fact, every year since 2008, with the exception of 2011, the two teams have met once in September, including last season in week 3. I see more of the same with this year, if history repeats itself (and it tends to do so in the NFL), with the Jaguars taking on the Colts on the road in September, early in the season.

WEEK 4- vs. Kansas City Chiefs (TNF). Why is this the Thursday Night Football game? Well, each team is obligated to have one nationally televised game, under the new rule that makes a Thursday Night Football game be every week. And what the NFL typically likes to do with these games is put bad teams against each other, and hope for a good game. They just call that week a wash, and hope for the best. They did it with the Jags and Colts last year (both were bad in 2011), the Rams and Cardinals (both were bad in 2011), and Bucs and Vikings (both were bad in 2011), so with 2 teams at 2-14 playing each other, this is a very probable matchup for the national game that the Jaguars will have.

WEEK 5- at Denver Broncos. The Jaguars have played the Broncos twice since 2008. Both of those times, the two teams met in week 6 or before, meeting in week 6 in 2008 and week 1 in 2010. These two teams normally get scheduled against each other relatively early in the season, and because the Jaguars have a longer week of rest, they'll be able to make this trip with some ease in terms of scheduling. As we saw last year with Denver, the Broncos get the televised games early, and then some bad games towards the middle of the season. I expect something like that with this scheduling pick.

WEEK 6- at Cleveland Browns. Nothing to defend this pick, except for the fact that it's probably a road game. Because week 8 is technically a home game, and week 7 has to be a home game, I highly doubt that the Jaguars get a stretch of 4 home games in 5 weeks, and highly doubt that they get 3 road games. Going by process of elimination on the schedule, I've got the Cleveland Browns as the week 6 opponent for the Jaguars.

WEEK 7- vs. Buffalo Bills. This game has to be a home game, because the next week is a game in London. That's all we know about this game, because as for the opponent, it's wide open. The past four times that Jacksonville has played the Bills, the teams played in December (2012), October (2010), November (2009) and September (2008), so this matchup is wide open in terms of when they can play this game. Much of the schedule is a guess, and that's what this game is- a pure guess.

WEEK 8- vs. San Francisco 49ers (Wembley Stadium). We already know this game. The Jaguars are signed onto the International Series for the next four years, and they've got the NFC champions in this game. We know the date, the time of the game (1:00), and the location. No point in explaining further.

WEEK 9- Bye Week. After a team plays the London game, they've got a bye week the week following. Because the Jaguars played the London game in week 8, they've got the bye week in week 9. This, along with the London game, is what we know for sure.

WEEK 10- at St. Louis Rams. Coming off of the bye week, baseball season is done in St. Louis, so I'd expect the NFL to make St. Louis play lots of their home games in the latter half of the season. This is one of them, and the last two times that these teams have met, it's come in October. I would've had this game as an October game, but because of the London rules (knocking weeks 7 and 8 out of the picture), we'll move this game to early November. I'd consider swapping this week with the Cleveland week in terms of scheduling, but in the end, this is all an educated guess.

WEEK 11- vs. Houston Texans. Normally, the Jaguars play a divisional opponent twice in the latter half of the season. It happened last season with Tennessee, in 2011 with Indianapolis, and in 2010 with Houston, where the Jaguars played these respective opponents in an early November week, and then, again in the final week of the season. History normally repeats itself, so give me Houston in a home game here. I say this because I see the Jaguars playing Houston on the road in week 17 (for reasons described later), so this has to be a home game, and will be a late first meeting between the teams, as usual.

WEEK 12- vs. Indianapolis Colts. Why play the Indianapolis Colts in this game? Well, there are 3 road games left on the schedule at this point. One of them is Houston, and that's a divisional game that has to be the week 17 game. The other two are against Oakland and Seattle, and I can't see an east coast team playing back-to-back road games, with one of them being against a west coast team like Oakland or Seattle. For that reason, the Jaguars come home for this game, and play the Colts. Over the past two seasons, the teams have met in November, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that again this season.

WEEK 13- at Seattle Seahawks. There's nothing defending this game, except for the fact that I find it more likely that the Jaguars take on the Seahawks in this road game than the Raiders. The reason why? In 2004, the Raiders played the Jaguars in the last week of the season. In 2007 and 2010, the teams met in December. Last season, the teams met in October, but that was the exception to the rule. Because I see more of the same with Oakland this year, give me Seattle in this road game.

WEEK 14- vs. Tennessee Titans. There are only 2 home games left on the schedule- one against Tennessee and one against San Diego. At this point, it's a guess of which game goes where, but I'll put the Tennessee game here, because I'd highly doubt that the Jaguars take on the Seahawks on the road, the Chargers at home, and then the Raiders on the road. That's way too much mileage for the opposition in a three week span, so give me Tennessee in this scheduling matchup.

WEEK 15- at Oakland Raiders. I already explained this pick in my pick of the Seattle road game, so there's not much more to add on. Basically, the teams normally meet in December, so I see them meeting in December once more, this time, on the road in Oakland.

WEEK 16- vs. San Diego Chargers. Finally, by process of elimination, I've got the San Diego Chargers playing the Jaguars in week 16 of the season. Reason being simple- it can't be the Texans in this week, because Houston has to be week 17 if we're eliminating teams one by one, because the Chargers and Jaguars cannot play against each other in week 17 because they are not divisional teams. San Diego is the team playing this one against the Jaguars.

WEEK 17- at Houston Texans. Ever since the 2010 season, the NFL put in a rule stating how the final week of the season would be divisional games. In 2010, the Jaguars took on the Texans, in 2011, the Jaguars took on the Colts, and in 2012, the Jaguars took on the Titans. My guess is that it will continue in this cyclic pattern, and that Houston is back on the schedule for the final week of the season. The Jaguars never play a home game on week 17 unless it's New Year's Day, as the Jaguars were at home in the 2005 season and the 2011 season (when New Year's Day was the final day of the season). Every other time, the Jags were on the road, so I'm expecting the same for the final week of this season.

NOTE: All of this is a guess. Outside of the bye week, the London game, and the fact that week 17 must be a divisional game, I know nothing about the schedule.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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