Jacksonville Jaguars among top 10 NFL teams with toughest 2023 schedule

Hope Spooner, right, and Brooke Ward react to costly mistakes committed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Hope Spooner, right, and Brooke Ward react to costly mistakes committed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars turned heads in 2022 when they won the AFC South and made the playoffs. They'll now have the chance to prove they weren't a one-year wonder. However, it won't be an easy task, as the Jags are set to have one of the 10 toughest schedules in the 2023 regular season.

Analyst Warren Sharp recently sorted out all NFL teams by strength of schedule and the Jaguars landed at No. 9. What's impressive is that they were the only team in the top 10 that had a projected win total of 10.0 or more. The other one was the San Francisco 49ers, who have the 10th toughest schedule and a projected win total of 11.3.

The clubs with the hardest schedules in 2023 using Sharp's methodology are the New England Patriots (1st), the Buffalo Bills (2nd), the Kansas City Chiefs (3rd), the Las Vegas Raiders (4th), and the Miami Dolphins (5th). Conversely, the teams with the easiest schedules next season are the New Orleans Saints (1st), the Atlanta Falcons (3rd), the Indianapolis Colts (4th), and the Chicago Bears (5th).

As you can see, three of the teams with the easiest schedules in 2023 reside in the NFC South. Meanwhile, three of the five teams with the toughest slate of opponents are in the AFC East. It's interesting that even though the Jags and Indy play in the same division, the former has a tough schedule while the latter has an easy one.

Keep in mind that clubs that were good one year can come crashing down the next. On the other hand, the Jaguars are a prime example that a team in the cellar of the league can turn into a contender in a matter of a season, so these rankings might look different come September.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are ready to show they're a top 5 team in 2023

You have probably seen Pro Football Focus' AFC Power Ranking, in which the Jags landed at No. 9, below the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Miami Dolphins even though they were the most successful of the bunch in 2022.

You could make the case that the Jets got Aaron Rodgers but he seems more interested in having people talk about him than being the best in the business. The Bolts lost to Jacksonville twice last season, so earning a higher in the spot is puzzling.

On the other hand, the Browns could surge in 2023 if Deshaun Watson plays like he did early in his stint with the Houston Texans. The Ravens could also make noise now that Lamar Jackson's contract impasse has been resolved.

Working in the Jags' favor is that they're set to face Baltimore and the Browns next season, so they'll have a chance to prove they're the better team. Moreover, the Jags will play the Niners, the Chiefs, and the Bills.

While it's hard to see the Jacksonville Jaguars beating all those clubs in 2023, they should be able to win at least half of those games and if they do, it will be hard for critics and the national media to keep ignoring them.

Next. 3 games on the Jaguars schedule that must get primetime billing. dark