The Jaguars need a rivalry game to create more team interest
By Kathy Clark
Will the Jaguars create more of a buzz this season by facing their top rivals?
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that needs a bigger fan base and more national interest. One way to increase the fan base and add interest is a rivalry game.
The Jaguars are a great team to follow and have had many good players over the years. They deserve more attention and a larger fan base. I recently wrote an article suggesting that more wins and more stars would increase interest in the team. I would like to add that a rivalry game would also help to accomplish that goal.
With new veterans on the roster like Nick Foles and players on the rise like Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue, exposure will increase the team’s national fanbase.
Most college teams have at least one rivalry game during the season. It’s the day that friends become temporary enemies. It’s the day we circle on our calendars. The Florida vs. Florida State game is a prime example. There are many NFL teams with great rivalry games as well. Examples include the Packers vs. the Bears, the Cowboys vs. the Redskins, and the Raiders vs. the Chiefs. This franchise has good rivalry games going with the Tennessee Titans but needs another more nationally prominent rival.
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That rival must be a team the Jaguars play frequently. This excludes the NFC teams since we might play against them as infrequently as every four years. An AFC rival from another division is a possibility. Four games each year are played against a division within the conference and two additional conference games are played based on the win/loss record from the previous season. The Jaguars play xix division games each season.
Obviously, the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans are natural rivals. However we have no particular animosity toward either team. An in-state team would be great. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the NFC. The Miami Dolphins are a possibility out of the AFC East. The surprise is that they have only played one another seven times. If both teams get their act together and produce more wins it could be a great interstate rivalry.
My choice for a second rival is the Pittsburg Steelers. The Steelers and the Jaguars have a long history and were building a rivalry in the AFC Central before a realignment put them in different divisions. The teams play frequently enough and the games are usually close. The Jaguars have an overall winning record against the AFC North opponent.
Jacksonville has won 14 games and the Steelers won 12. The Steelers have a huge fan base that travels well throughout the NFL and a rivalry with them would draw national interest and help put the Jaguars in the spotlight.
This year is a pivotal year for this franchise. They play the Dolphins in the pre-season and the Titans twice in the regular season. Hopefully, the teams will meet in the playoffs. There are possibilities for controversy which create interest and future rivalries.
Finally, the team has some potential stars ready for prime time. Let’s make it happen!