The Jacksonville Jaguars officially have their 2022 schedule, with the team getting their 17-game slate announced with the rest of the NFL on Thursday night.
But what does the Jaguars' schedule really show us? What trends could work in the Jaguars favor, and which trends appear they could eventually work against the Jaguars? We take a look at all angles below as we break down our thought on the class.
Jaguars' lack of primetime games unsurprisingly extends into 2022
If there is any streak you can depend on the Jaguars to extend, it is their primetime streak. The Jaguars get between 0-1 primetime games every year for more or less the last decade-and-a-half, which makes sense considering they have gone 64-155 in the last 14 seasons. If you aren't a big market, then you need a good team to get primetime games. The Jaguars are a small market and have been one of the worst teams in the NFL year in and year out, so naturally you won't see them on Monday or Sunday night anytime soon.
It has now been 14 years since the Jaguars played a Sunday night game (a 26-21 loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 5, 2008) and 11 years since they played a Monday night game (a 38-14 loss to San Diego on Dec. 5, 2011). According to ESPN's Michael DiRocco, these are each the longest streaks in the NFL. Maybe that changes if the Jaguars start winning games, but that is the on;y thing that will make it happen.
Jaguars won't be home very often in Doug Pederson's first year
Doug Pederson isn't exactly getting an easy schedule in his first year as the Jaguars' head coach. The Jaguars only play a handful of playoff teams and avoid both of last year's Super Bowl teams, giving them one of the easiest strengths of schedules in the NFL. But, even with this in mind, the pacing of the Jaguars schedule makes it hard to envision they will have things as smoothly as they would ideally want.
The Jaguars were already set to have nine road games and eight home games this year. Add in the fact that the London game is a home game only in name and is closer to a neutral site game than anything else, and the Jaguars are only really at home and not traveling for seven games.
During this upcoming season, there is no period where they play at TIAA Bank Field in back-to-back weeks, with the London game interrupting their Week 7 and Week 9 games in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, there are three weeks where the Jaguars are playing on the road in back-to-back weeks. In short, the Jaguars are going to have to be road warriors in Pederson's first season.
3 games with the juiciest storylines
The Jaguars didn't have a ton of storyline-worthy games last season, with Trevor Lawrence vs. Joe Burrow and Jalen Ramsey's revenge game as the only real ones on the last at this time last year. This year, though, there are three non-divisional games that stand out.
- Week 1 vs. Washington: This game has a ton of threads to follow. Carson Wentz gets to play a team that helped get him shipped out of the AFC South after his debacle performance vs. the Jaguars in Week 18 last year. Wentz faces his former mentor in Pederson. Pederson's first game with the Jaguars. Brandon Scherff returns to FedEx Field. There is a lot here.
- Week 4 vs. Philadephia: This is an obvious one. We get to see Pederson have his revenge game against the franchise he helped lead to a Super Bowl just a few years ago, his first return to Philadephia since the Eagles fired him following the 2020 season. Pederson going back home to face his scorned former team will be a major story.
- Week 16 vs. the Jets: Jacksonville's lone primetime game this year will come in Week 16, with the Jaguars traveling up north to take on the Jets on Thursday Night Football. The Jaguars and Jets are unspoken rivals at this point. We get to see Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson square off a second time, while also seeing which franchise is taking the biggest step forward.
The toughest stretch of games the Jaguars have
The toughest stretch of Jacksonville's season could come in the first quarter of the year as the Jaguars go from a home game vs. the Colts to road games vs. the Chargers and Eagles. Those are three playoff-caliber teams and two tough road games. With that said, I think the toughest stretch of the season comes in the middle of the year from Weeks 8-10.
First, the Jaguars will travel to London to take on a tough Denver Broncos team and Russell Wilson in Week 8. In Week 9, the Jaguars host Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Josh McDaniels. Then in Week 10, the Jaguars travel to a hostile environment to play the best quarterback in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. That is a brutal three-week period.
The easiest stretch of games the Jaguars have
It is tough to say there is an easy stretch to the Jaguars' schedule; there are plenty of winnable games and periods, but the Jaguars have a solid mix of formidable opponents. With that said, there is one three-week period where the Jaguars could potentially come out on the other end either 2-1 or 3-0.
In Week 5 the Jaguars will host the Houston Texans before traveling to the Colts in Week 6. Then, in Week 7, the Jaguars get arguably the most winnable game on their schedule in a home tilt against the New York Giants. If the Jaguars can turn any stretch into wins, it is that one.