Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars can chase AFC’s one seed with favorable schedule

todayMay 12, 2023


Jaguars can chase one seed with favorable schedule

By Hays Carlyon

Backroom deals are done in all walks of life. The NFL is no different.

You help me. I help you. It’s as old as mankind.

I can’t help but think of this when looking at the Jaguars schedule.

It’s so cushy. There’s nothing I would change about it.

It’s like the NFL gave the Jaguars a blank form and said, “fill in what you want.”

This of course is because the Jaguars are doing the league a huge favor by playing two games in London. We’ve entered a day in which many teams are sick of going over to London, especially as the road team. Some are simply flat refusing to do it.

The Jaguars are hosting Atlanta at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 and then staying over to play Buffalo as the road team at Tottenham Stadium the following Sunday.

Let’s break down what I believe is the most favorable schedule the Jaguars have received in the last decade.

This is a schedule that absolutely allows the Jaguars to chase the AFC’s No. 1 seed. That means a critical bye week to start the playoffs as well as home-field advantage. Kansas City secured the top seed last season at 14-3.

From a competitive standpoint, the Jaguars never play back-to-back road games in a seven-day stretch. The only time they play two consecutive road dates comes with a mini-bye. The Jaguars travel to New Orleans on Thursday, Oct. 19 before heading to Pittsburgh Oct. 29.

The bye week comes at the perfect time in Week 9.

Only one team has its bye before playing the Jaguars: San Francisco. However, the Jaguars also have their bye prior to hosting the 49ers. So, from a rest standpoint, the Jaguars don’t face any disadvantage over the course of the schedule.

The Jaguars should avoid bad weather late in the season. They travel to Cleveland on Dec. 10, but that’s 11 days before winter officially starts. A Christmas Eve date in Tampa Bay should be ideal. The finale at Tennessee could be cold, but there won’t be blizzard conditions.

The Jaguars also have their first-place schedule spread out. We knew they would play Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco and Cincinnati. All of those games are spread out. The Chiefs are in Week 2, followed by the Bills in Week 5, the 49ers in Week 10 and the Bengals in Week 13.

The Jaguars also get two night games at home. Those environments should be incredible if the team has the season we expect. The Jaguars host Cincinnati on Monday, Dec. 4 and then welcome in Baltimore on Dec. 17 for Sunday Night Football.

The Jaguars will play three untested quarterbacks in the first four games. They open at Indianapolis, which will likely start first-round rookie Anthony Richardson. They welcome Houston’s first-round pick C.J. Stroud in Week 3 and then take on Atlanta’s Desmond Ridder in Week 4.

The three-game close sets up well too. The Jaguars travel to Tampa Bay, who will likely start Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. That leads into a home game against Carolina and first pick Bryce Young. The finale at Tennessee could feature second-round pick Will Levis.

When the Jaguars host the Titans in Week 11 Tennessee will be playing its third consecutive road game. That’s brutal.

Nothing about this schedule is brutal for the Jaguars.

It’s a gift from the Football Gods. Or at least the league brass for doing them a huge favor.

The Jaguars have a dramatic edge over Kansas City, Buffalo and Cincinnati. That’s the benefit of playing six games against the AFC South and four against the NFC South.

Adding the ease of the path has increased that advantage.

Now, we’ll see if they can capitalize on it.

The Jaguars should have a chance at 14-3 with this road.

(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).


Written by: Hays Carlyon

Previous post

Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jacksonville by the Numbers – Bingo!

Jacksonville by the Numbers - Bingo!   2022 ended up being a very positive and productive year for Jacksonville. As well as beating the Titans twice, including the regular season finale that got them into the playoffs, they erased a 27 point deficit against the Chargers. Although they went out to the Chiefs in the divisional round, the Jags hung tough with the eventual Superbowl champions and could have won […]

todayMay 9, 2023