JAX @ HOU: Jags in rare position Week 1

Let’s review, folks. The Jaguars have been the worst franchise in the NFL for the past decade.

Since 2011 (for the last 10 seasons), Jacksonville has the league’s worst record: 46 wins, 117 losses. Yes, it’s worse than Cleveland. If you want to argue semantics over math: Cleveland is coming off an 11-5 season that saw a playoff win @ Pittsburgh, while the Jags are coming off their worst season in franchise history at 1-15.

If you’re a betting person, it’s even more interesting.

In the last 10 seasons, the Jags have been road favorites just 10 times. For perspective: New England has been favored on the road 64 times in that span.

Enter Week 1 @ Houston: the Jags are favored on the road for the first time since 2019’s Week 7 trip to Cincinnati (a 27-17 victory).

Despite a 1-15 record last season, the Jags are favored over the Texans for a variety of reasons ranging from new coach Urban Meyer and new QB Trevor Lawrence, to Houston’s 4-12 record following DeAndre Hopkins departure, to the general turmoil within the Houston franchise amidst their franchise QB’s very public legal troubles.

So Jacksonville has a rare opportunity on Sunday: to start a season 1-0 on the road in a divisional game. The last time that happened? 2017 @ Houston.

Before that, you’d have to go back to 2000’s opener in Cleveland and 1997’s opener in Baltimore - the only other times that has happened in franchise history.

Over the last 3 seasons, the Jags are 4-14 in the AFC South - a full 6 games worse than Houston during that span.

Starting 1-0 is nice. Starting 1-0 in the division is nicer. And winning as a road favorite within the division is the best start you can ask for, one that Jags fans would welcome as the start of a new era.

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