The schedule for the 2017 season sets the Jacksonville Jaguars up with a mixture of must have wins and difficult challenges.
The opponents on the Jacksonville Jaguars schedule for 2017 have been known for quite some time now. While we are currently trudging through the period between free agency and the draft, let’s take a glance at the schedule for next season and analyze which game is the most winnable and which one will be the most challenging.
It is still only March, and it is unknown how teams are going to perform until the season actually gets going. Some teams exceed their expectations, while some fail to reach the hype placed upon them. Another big factor will be the order of the schedule when the dates of the matchups are officially announced, which should happen in mid April.
But taking into account the success and struggles the opponents are coming off of in 2016 and the key pieces they will bring back for 2017, let’s make some early predictions.
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Most winnable game: Jacksonville Jaguars vs Los Angeles Rams
The Jaguars play the two teams who hold the top two spots in the 2017 NFL Draft: the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers, and a Cleveland Browns team that managed to win only one game in 2016.
But taking into account that both those games will be played on the road, it may be better to turn attention to a game that will be played in the friendly confines of Everbank Field.
The Los Angeles Rams have a first-year head coach, and the youngest head coach in modern league history, with 31-year old Sean McVay. They also have quarterback Jared Goff, who will be competing in just his second season with an offense that struggled mightily in 2016 under his rookie hand.
If the Jaguars want to take a step forward and be a competitive team next season, they cannot take a loss to the Rams at home.
Most challenging game: Jacksonville Jaguars vs Seattle Seahawks
The road schedule for Jacksonville doesn’t look particularly daunting on paper, so the most challenging game in 2017 is also a home game.
The Seattle Seahawks have established themselves in the upper echelon of the NFL with consistent success. Year in and year out, the Seahawks find themselves in the playoffs, and have won at least one playoff game each season since 2012.
With Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson still leading the charge, and with pieces like Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, and Kam Chancellor still in the fold, Seattle will continue to be a tough out in 2017.
For a team like Jacksonville trying to scratch the surface of success, a game against the always consistent Seahawks will be a tough climb. The Jags played many teams close in 2016, but the Seahawks may still be on another level.
There is still a lot to be determined between now and when these games are played, but as it stands now, these two games provide a must win and an uphill battle for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017.