Jacksonville Jaguars fans were none too happy after 8 pm Thursday night. The NFL schedules were released. No Thursday night games. No Sunday night football. Not one Monday night game to speak of. There is a trip to London in the third week of the season. However, the schedule handed to this franchise says one thing – you are what your record from 2016 says you are.
Right now, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t a very good football team.
With four of the first seven weeks of the NFL season on the road – including the trip to Wembley Stadium to face Baltimore – Jacksonville will learn early on if they are road warriors and whether a change will do them good.
“The Jacksonville Jaguars have a tough start and tough finish to their 2017 schedule, but if they can survive that, the middle part is pretty manageable,” writes Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “It at least gives the team the chance to threaten .500, which would be a big deal because the team has lost double-digit games for the past six seasons, which is tied with Detroit (2001-06) and Cleveland (2008-13) for the third-longest streak in NFL history.”
Manageable is not what fans here in Jacksonville wanted to hear. A new head coach in Doug Marrone, along with a new hierarchy with Tom Coughlin and David Caldwell. There is a sense this team will not necessarily overhaul its look but change its way of thinking. Gone is the “just getting better” attitude of Gus Bradley. In its place is the fiery mentality of Coughlin and Marrone of “just win now.”
DiRocco said in his story this team would win six games in 2017. No playoff berth. No late season heroics. There will be changes once again for this team after the upcoming season – most likely at quarterback if Blake Bortles does not deliver.
Opening on the road against the Houston Texans and then facing the upstart Tennessee Titans gives this team two huge divisional tests. And by the way, JJ Watt will be playing in Week 1.
The Ravens game could be the first win of the season. After that, the team travels to New York to face the New York Jets and then Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. They continue with the Rams at home before they face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. All of this before the bye week. Marrone and his staff have their work cut out for them.
The Jacksonville Jaguars final home game of the season is Dec. 17 against Houston before they travel to San Francisco and Tennessee in the final two weeks of the season. If this team can win games they should win (split divisional games, the Jets, Cleveland, Rams and the 49ers), there is a chance this team could reach .500. Maybe even prove everyone wrong.