SPORTS | Jaguars get 2 in prime time with challenging schedule ahead – Jacksonville Today

SPORTS | Jaguars get 2 in prime time with challenging schedule ahead – Jacksonville Today

Looking at the NFL schedule, released last week, the Jaguars have an intriguing path if they are to return to the playoffs.

The Jaguars are scheduled to play two games in London, against the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and against the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium, the former being considered a road game on the Jaguars’ schedule.

And the Jaguars will make two prime time appearances, both on the road. They travel to Buffalo for Monday Night Football on Sept. 23 and to Philadelphia for Sunday Night Football on Nov. 3.

Although it’s far too early to make predictions for the season, that’s never stopped me before, so here’s what I foresee happening in each game of the Jags’ 2024 season:

After losing on the road in Miami to open the season, the Jaguars will bounce back to beat the Cleveland Browns in the only home game in September. Consecutive road losses to the Bills on Monday Night Football and the defending AFC South champion Houston Texans have the Jaguars scuttling early with a 1-3 mark.

Then things turn around. A home win over the Colts is followed by the annual trip to London for a pair of games likely against rookie quarterbacks. I have the Jaguars winning both games, topping Caleb Williams and the Bears and Drake Maye and the Patriots to get back over the .500 mark at 4-3.

The return to Jacksonville brings perhaps the most intriguing game on the schedule. Is Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love as good as he appeared to be last year? The Jaguars’ return to EverBank Stadium will be a major litmus test. I’ll give it to Jacksonville, but barely. The travel back from a week and a half in London could make this one a tougher win. 5-3.

A primetime loss at the Eagles is followed by a home win over the Vikings before another tester, on the road at Detroit. This could be the pivotal game of the season. If the Jaguars win, they’ll be in playoff contention over Thanksgiving. Let’s give them a win and a record of 7-4 heading to the latest bye week in franchise history.

Trevor Lawrence hands his sweatband to a fan after an AFC South win over the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Stadium on Nov. 19, 2023. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

Then I have them splitting divisional games against the Texans and Titans before Aaron Rodgers and the Jets come to town.  He will have had three months of punishment and will have just celebrated his 41st birthday. If the Jaguars are going places, this has to be a win. 9-5.

In the final three games of the season, I have the Jaguars losing on the road at the Raiders and Colts with a home win over the Titans sandwiched in between.

Final record: 10-7. Good enough for a Wild Card spot.

It isn’t pretty, but a return to the playoffs would be a welcome sight.

Then again, I reserve the right to change my mind on everything after the preseason.

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