A deeper look at the Schedule:
Week 1: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Tennessee Titans:
Opening day starts just like last season, except it's in Tennessee's home turf. Last year we looked horrible against the Titans but put together a solid season nonetheless. Winning our division starts winning on the road, opening the season 1-0 and the division 1-0 is very important. No room for excuses here, the Jaguars must come out hot.
Week 2: VS
Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Home opener against a team the Jaguars beat pretty soundly at home last season. Buffalo's an up and coming team, and it'll be very strange playing against Marcus Stroud, but it's not a reach to assume a win here.
Week 3: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Indianapolis Colts
The crucible of our September schedule is at Indianapolis. It's the Jaguars first trip to the new stadium where hopefully the memories of the RCA dome are behind us. It's unusual for a season defining test so early in the season, but proving that we can win on the road in the most hostile of territory, as well as putting us at 2-0 in our division is a key marker in determining how successful the season will be. Remember, if we win our division, we can face the Colts at home, rather than having to come back here in the playoffs. I'm torn in predicting this game. Ask me after the draft. As a nice change of pace, the Jaguars play the Colts before their bye week, rather than afterwards.
Week 4: VS
Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Our divisional tour ends with a home game against the Houston Texans. No excuses here, we'll sweep the Texans. If not, we're pretenders to the crown. Imagine being 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the division before we even get to October
Week 5: VS
Pittsburgh Steelers VS Jacksonville Jaguars
The "biggest" game of our regular season features the broken and beaten Steelers coming into Jacksonville with the idea of embarrising us at home just as we did to them, twice. I don't see this happening as the Steelers are a rebuilding team, especially on their offensive line. Week 6 has the Jaguars announcing their presence as a contender to the world, live on Football Night in America.
Week 6: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Denver Broncos
If there was ever a "trap game" on the schedule, it'd be this one. Jacksonville should enter this point no worse than 4-2, probably better, going on the road the week before your bye week might catch the Jaguars looking too far ahead. I'm not saying we lose this game, but it's one of the moments where the team needs to keep choppin' wood and take one game at a time. Yes, I'll use cliches whenever I feel like it
Week 7: BYE
Is there a better time for a bye week than right here? Perfect time to re-tool for the second half of the season and especially with Cleveland coming to town. Nothing says beat-down like two weeks to prepare. (Though Jacksonville does have that terrible habit of coming out flat after a week off)
Week 8: VS
Cleveland was a hot team last season, but I think they are full of air. Let's see how they look after having no draft picks, some expensive but under-whelming free agent signings, and Derek Anderson comes back down to earth. This is a game the Jaguars should win if they expect to be contenders. Also, we need to show them that classy fans don't throw bottles
Week 9: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Cincinnati Bengals
The Jaguars go on the road for two weeks here against two bottom feeders in their respective divisions. Cincinnati has all sorts of problems, ranging from a defense that's horrible to a pair of disgruntled wide receivers. I'd imagine that the wheels come off this train long before the Jaguars come to town.
Week 10: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Detroit Lions
Will they win 10 games? Is Jon Kitna still the quarterback at this point? How important was Mike Martz to that team? All sorts of fun questions. I'm going to chalk this up as a win, but mainly because I'm disappointed that we're not playing the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Week 11: VS
Tennessee Titans AT Jacksonville Jaguars
It's been 6 weeks since our last division game at this point. Just like Jacksonville, the Titans will be on their 4th divisional game at this point. Winning here puts the Jaguars at 3-1 or hopefully 4-0 in the AFC South, which should be good enough to keep pace with Indianapolis. If winning on the road is critical to wining the division, beating the Titans at home must be a given. No excuses.
Week 12: VS
Minnesota Vikings VS Jacksonville Jaguars
The best of the NFC North should be no problem for the best of the AFC South. Will we see Jackson or Gus Ferotte? I can't wait to see Adrian Peterson up close though, he'll get a schooling from Taylor and Jones-Drew. Actually, if I were to predict a loss against one of the NFC North teams, it'd be this one. Pounding run game and a defense that stops the ground attack, the ball will be in David Garrard's hands. Time to see if our high priced receivers can do their job.
Week 13: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Houston Texans
Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party! Yes, it's Monday Night Football Night in America Night, live on ESPN. Tony Kornheiser can talk about Tom Brady for three whole hours while the Jaguars and Texans duel it out. I'll assume the Texans will roll out the Battle Red and be extra excited. Unfortunatly, the Jaguars have their eyes on a much bigger prize, as the Division race is almost over, and should things play out as they should, Jacksonville is 3-1 or 4-0 in the Division at this point. Houston will be better than last year, but this year will be something special for the Jaguars and we'll move right through Houston on our way to someplace great.
Week 14: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Chicago Bears
Short turn around as we go from Monday night to a late season game in Chicago. Thankfully the Bears are about as screwed up of a team as there is in the NFL. Who's the quarterback? Who are they going to throw to? Will their defense get their head together and quit thinking about contracts? Jacksonville has to have their eyes on the ball here, but if they're going to get caught looking ahead, it'd be here.
Week 15: VS
Green Bay Packers VS Jacksonville Jaguars
Yawn. This game would be interesting if Brett Favre were still around, but Aaron Rogers has a hard task ahead of him this season. I really think the Jaguars will be riding on some momentum here, especially with what they have coming up next.
Week 16: VS
Indianapolis Colts VS Jacksonville Jaguars
THE premiere game on our schedule, should things go as we hope. It's very likely that the Jaguars and Colts face off in late December with the division on the line. We could both be 5-0 or 4-1, with a win here clinching the AFC South crown. On top of that, it's a prime-time game, albeit on the NFL Network. Each team will have a short week to prepare, but with everything on the line. I get chills just thinking about this one. Though, if the Jaguars take care of business, there's a chance, albeit slight, that we can lock things up by the. We'd need some mistakes on the Colts part, of course, but it could happen. This is also a "respect" game, beating the Colts at home is sadly uncommon, this would give us a big boost as we go into the postseason.
Week 17: AT
Jacksonville Jaguars AT Baltimore Ravens
I hope this game is meaningless.
There you go, my quick hit thoughts on the Schedule. Here's to not eating a whole lot of crow in a few months.