Getting 2 primetimes shows NFL thinks Jaguars worthy of the spotlight

• The Jaguars are gaining relevance across the league. Them getting 2 primetimes in 2024 is a sign.
Jacksonville Jaguars punter Logan Cooke (9) points to the heavens as place kicker Riley Patterson
Jacksonville Jaguars punter Logan Cooke (9) points to the heavens as place kicker Riley Patterson / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

For the second straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten more than one primetime game. Although they got one less than 2023, it's still noteworthy because they struggled to get more than one for several years. Things are starting to change, though, and the Jags getting primetime treatment is a sign.

For context, one of the Jaguars' primetimes will be against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 and the other one will take place against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9. Shockingly, Jacksonville got none on Thursday Night. This will be the first time since 2010 that they won't get a TNF game. From 2012 to 2022, Jacksonville only got a primetime game every year and all were on Thursday Night.

Not even after reaching the AFC Championship in 2017, the Jags got more than one primetime. Then again, it's understandable. They failed to win more than five games from 2011-2016, and after nearly reaching the Super Bowl in 2017, they only racked up a measly five wins the following season. Things only got worse from there, with Jacksonville winning just 10 games from 2019-2021.

The silver lining is that things have taken a positive turn since Doug Pederson arrived in 2022. The Jags have suddenly become a competitive team and Trevor Lawrence has hit his stride after having his rookie campaign ruined by Urban Meyer.

While the Jaguars collapsed to end the 2023 season, they made enough moves in the offseason to make you think that they can bounce back. Add the presence of Lawrence and other playmakers such as Josh Allen and Evan Engram, and the league thinks Jacksonville deserves primetime treatment.

Other teams didn't deserve as many primetime games in 2024

There are several ways to look at the number of primetimes the Jaguars got in 2024. For starters, they got as many as the Denver Broncos, the Washington Commanders, and the Las Vegas Raiders. Jacksonville also got one more than the Arizona Cardinals, the Tennessee Titans, the New England Patriots, and the Indianapolis Colts. All these are ascending or rebuilding teams.

The NFL could've easily given the Jags just primetime. Like Indy, they were in the thick of the playoff race last year but ultimately didn't get in. The fact that none of the bouts will be on TNF shows that they're low-key becoming relevant.

On the other hand, it's puzzling to see underachievers like the New York Jets or the Chicago Bears get more primetimes. Heck, the Jets got as many as the 2023 AFC Champion San Francisco 49ers despite the fact that they went 7-10 last year. Then again, this is understandable. The NFL wants to give quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and rookie Caleb Williams as much exposure as possible.

Does that mean that New York or the Bears deserve more primetimes than the Jaguars? Probably not, but the only way Jacksonville will keep getting more primetime games in the future will be by making the most of the two they got in 2024.

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