2. While not a cakewalk, the Jaguars’ schedule isn’t a gauntlet either.
The Jaguars’ schedule is not easy by any means (no team’s schedule is easy), but it’s not exactly a gauntlet either. The Jaguars open the season with a dream matchup in Houston against the Texans, which should set them at 1-0. They host Denver and Arizona, then head to Cincinnati for a Thursday Night matchup against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. There’s a reasonable chance for the Jags to be 2-2, or even 3-1 if things bounce their way.
Following the first four weeks, the Jags dip into the most challenging stretch of their schedule: versus Tennessee, against Miami in London, BYE, at Seattle, versus Buffalo, and at Indianapolis. All five of these teams should be competing for playoff spots, so if they can win at least one of these games, that should be considered a small moral victory. Following that brutal stretch, the Jags host San Francisco and Atlanta in back-to-back weeks, both of which are winnable games.
The last portion of the schedule goes as follows: at LA Rams, at Tennessee, versus Houston, at New York Jets, at New England, and a home matchup against Indianapolis. If they could somehow split the last six games or finish 2-4, Jags fans should be happy.
This season is not about the playoffs. While they should obviously push for the playoffs and expect to make it there, the reasonable expectation for fans and analysts should be for the team to be competitive and show signs of significant improvement every week. As long as Trevor Lawrence looks like the franchise quarterback they drafted him to be, this season will be a success.
My projection for the season’s win total is 7, with wins against Houston twice, Denver, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and the New York Jets.