Love it or Hate it – 2011 Away Games


The offseason drags on and the topics on which I can write slowly but surely dissipate in the 95+ degree heat that is Florida. Fret not though, the proverbial well is not dry. Today we will be talking about away games for the (hopefully) upcoming season. Who knows, if enough people agree with me on the game I’m most excited for, maybe Black and Teal could plan a road trip…

The Jags play the Jets, Panthers, Steelers, Texans, Colts, Browns, Falcons and Titans this year. I’ll attempt to do some pros and cons on each game and try to figure out which games are most suitable for a road trip.

The Jets – No. Sorry. Its New Jersey and expensive. The crowd would be extremely hostile and the pricing would be way out of my budget and I would think most Average Joe’s budget too. It would be cool to see New Meadowlands though…

Panthers – This is could be a great game to watch. The Panthers will struggle with Cam Newton at the helm, book it. This could be a guaranteed win and Charlotte is a nice town in its own right. The game is also within a reasonable driving distance and would be just far enough north to potentially have great weather this early in the season. Put this one down as a good idea. This is a top-3 selection.

Steelers – This one could be a great one. The Steelers could be feeling the Super Bowl hangover and the Jags could be ready to pounce. The game is probably situated at the perfect time for a game in Pittsburgh. Its going to be perfect weather there. Heinz Field is an amazing stadium that everyone should get the chance to check out. Downtown Pitt offers a vision of what the new political elect in Jacksonville should be looking to emulate. This is a flight only game. This game is a top-3 selection.

Texans – Another Dome. This game is outside of the driving radius. This could be a good one as the Jags and Texans always seem to play each other well. The Texas heat shouldn’t be bothersome, but the price could be prohibitive on this trip. This is a mid-tier game.

Colts – I don’t like the Colts and if you are reading this, I suspect you don’t like the Colts either. This game could be huge and well worth visit. This is outside of the driving radius. The new stadium is hosting the Super Bowl this year, so expect it to be top of the line in almost every way. This could be be one to go to.

Browns – This could be a win, which always adds value to an away game road trip. The Browns have a QB who doesn’t seem like the answer, but let’s not tell them that. The Browns and Jaguars were the two participants in the infamous “bottlegate“. Seriously. Google “bottlegate” and the first link is that video. While an almost assured win would be nice, I can’t imagine going to Cleveland. The fans tend to be overzealous and I’d hate to be in that kind of situation.

Falcons — This game could be huge for the Jags. If they come into this game with a good record and leave with a win, it could bode extremely well for the team going into the playoffs, as it would show the ability of the teams to get it done down the stretch. Atlanta is only a few hours away from Jacksonville (and Tallahassee) and the game is a nationally televised game on NFLN. Its in a dome, in a major city with stuff to do, nationally televised, near by, against the Mike Smith and Jags North. It could be fun. Or it could be a disaster and the Jags could get killed, but that could happen at any game. Hopefully the Jones pick doesn’t work out for them.

Titans – The game against the Titans could be a good one. We could potentially be seeing a game that has playoff implications, a game that has two rookie top-10 QB’s facing each other, a team out of contention playing against a playoff bound team or two teams that have nothing to lose. Choose any of those scenarios and it could be a fun game to watch. Tennessee has a great stadium and the weather shouldn’t be horrible. This is more of a flight only game. This could be a game to watch.

Verdict – If I had to pick a single game to go to, I would select the Falcons. Its a late season game that could be a playoff indicator. It is in a dome and the weather outside shouldn’t be too bad for strolling around the few days before. Its also only a six hour drive from Jacksonville or if you have the money, a 45-minute flight. Unfortunately its on a Thursday and that doesn’t go well with the working world. If I had to pick a second game, it would be the Steelers in Pitt. Fall should be in the air and we all know that Steelers/Jaguars games are always good (not to mention, the Jags do exceptionally well against them). I went to a Pitt/Jax game in 2007, when the Jags won in the snow and I have to say it was amazing. The stadium is great and the fans are generally good natured. Downside? The cold, but October shouldn’t be as cold as December.

What do you guys think?