So, it’s out; we know exactly when and where will the Jaguars hit the field in this season. Lets see quarter by quarter how easy or difficult the road will be and which wishes became true from my post just a couple of hours ago:
Well; let’s face it; it is very tough start (again). Yeah 3 games will be played at home; but against very very good teams. I think opening against Denver will be a tough task, even with the recent moves by the Broncos. Then after that the Jaguars must make their trip to the West Coast to San Diego…We all know how not 1 but 2 trips to the region ended in 2009; and now we will face a much better team than San Fransisco and Seattle was back then. Right after that the 1st NFC East team will visit the Jacksonville. I think the Eagles have too much talent -even if the new starting QB Kevin Kolb turns out not to be a great QB as Andy Reid expects in the first couple of games-; to underestimate them. Luckly the 2 teams will face each other in the 1st preseason game in August; so Jack Del Rio and his team can find couple of holes; that they can use here. Then the first divisional rival visit Jacksonville. I’m a bit disapointed for 2 reasons. 1; It’s the Colts; not the Texans I wished. 2; Although it will be a 4:15 game; I (and almost many Jaguars fan as well) expected that this game will be in December; at Thursday night; on NFL Network; because the 2 teams played 2 very good games in the last 2 years in the same spot. Anyway; I say this, if the Jaguars can manage a 2-2 from this 4 games; we have a good start. Every result over .500 will be more than great!
The 2. Quarter begins with maybe the easiest away game of the schedule in Buffalo. Another good news it will be played in early October; so the weather will be not very cold (lately Jaguars have issues with cold weather games). Then we get the 1st and only primetime game of the season. It will be against the Titans; it is a heated rivalry; so I hope there will be no problem avoiding the blackout (and since Tony Kornheiser is not a member of the ESPN MNF broadcasting crew; we might hear positive things about Jacksonville and the Jaguars.) Then the team will travel to Kansas. Some might say this is a not so difficult game; but I think the Chiefs are on the rise and they can be a surprise team in 2010 – so don’t underestimate them and think this could be an easy W. Then the Jaguars will go to the 1st very new stadium of the NFC East teams; and will play against the Cowboys in Arlington. Very tough game; maybe the hardest part of this 4 game stretch. The good news is after that the Jaguars go to the bye week; so they can rest after this test.
I think it comes in the ideal time. Not too early; not too late. Exactly at the halfway point of the season. I think the Jaguars were given a very good time to rest their bones for an extra week
The Jags start the second half of the season with an another divisional rival and again at home. Although Houston is on the rise, lately the Jaguars have more problems to sell tickets against the Texans then win the game…But of course don’t underestimate them. Then Cleveland will visit and give the Jaguars a perfect opportunity to payback for those 2 losses (’08 at home; ’09 away) they suffered against the Browns. The last game of the 2009 season was a really ugly loss; alone that must motivate this team to play very hard and win. Then the Jaguars play back-to back on the road. First; the Jaguars will see the brand-new home of the New York Giants (and Jets); and face with their 1st head coach Tom Coughlin. This game will be played late November; so the weather can be a factor as well… Cold will be an issue in Tennessee too; because after the Giants; the Jaguars will face the Titans in Nashville. This will be the first divisional game on the road! Of course we all remember what happened in 2009 there – the ugliest divisional loss of ’09. Let’s hope that the Jaguars will play better this year over there.
Now; when we will arrive to this part of the schedule; the standings in the playoff hunt will be key. If the Jaguars are contenders for the post season; the game against the Raiders could be a gift. If the Jaguars have a not so good season; this game will be a headache – for ticket sales (among others). So I hope the Jaguars will be very much alive still. Then the rematch with the Colts is coming up. It is scheduled to 1 p. m.; but I would be not surprised if (because of the flexible scheduling) this game would be moved. I’m still disappointed that this game will not played on Thursday night…The Jaguars closing the year at home against the Redskins. I think what I wrote about at the Raiders is true here too. If the Jaguars are still in the playoff hunt this game could be a bit help for them. Plus; until that part of the year we will know about Shanahan and McNabb could turned around that franchise or not. It has a chance to be a meaningless game as well; which could create serious problem for ticket sales then…The Jaguars are closing the season in Houston (I think if the Texans have a chance to make the post season; I bet this game will be another “Battle Red” day). I hope the Jaguars can still have at least a shot to reach the playoffs; but of course I have no crystal ball to prove it. Anyway; it is noteworthy that 4 out of the last 6 games will be on the road; and 3 of them will be divisional game. I think it is not good news; and another part I don’t like in this schedule. But I must say; if the Jaguars are a contender in the playoff hunt; there last 3 home games are not exactly hard to handle as well.
Let’s make a quick conclusion:
The things I like in the schedule are:
The bye week is at the middle point of the season; the last 3 home games can turn out easy games; moderate number of cold games (NY Giants; Titans) 3 out of 4 first games will be played home.
The things I not like so much about the schedule are:
Very tough opening 4 games; especially between Week 2 and 4; in the last 6 games; the Jaguars will face all the divisional rivals at home; only 1 primetime game instead of 2; if the season won’t turn out so well the last 2 home games will be a big challenge for the ticket sales
So these are my first impressions about the schedule. What’s yours?