The 2021 NFL schedule is here. As the league keeps up locked in year-round, we're now one step closer to football. We finally know how the Jaguars' schedule stacks up.
Here are my top takeaways.
One Prime-Time Game
Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer aren't enough to get the Jaguars on national television. No, these Jaguars are going to have to win some games and entertain to get more national recognition. Now, if the Jaguars end up winning early, they could get flexed for Sunday Night Football down the line, but as of right now, the only prime-time game is in week four when the Jags head to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, and the Bengals. And that should be a thrilling contest between the two most recent number one picks.
The Mid-Season Gauntlet
The Jaguars have some winnable games early. They start out with Houston, Denver, Arizona, and Cincinnati, all of which look like competitive contests on paper. After that, however, the Jaguars' slate stiffens. From week five to week to week 14, Trevor Lawrence and the Big Cats will face Tennessee at home, Miami in London, Seattle on the road, Buffalo at home, Indianapolis on the road, San Francisco at home, Atlanta at home, the Los Angeles Rams on the road, and Tennessee on the road. The Jags could very well be underdogs in all those contests. Getting off to a hot start will be critical, as the Jaguars will be tested by seven 2020 playoff teams in ten weeks. The season's final stretch should bring some relief, with Houston at home, the Jets and Patriots on the road, and the Colts at home.
Trevor vs Zach
The number one and number two overall picks in the 2021 NFL Draft are set to do battle in a Week 16 showdown at the Meadowlands. They won't directly compete with each other, but this will be a statement game for whichever quarterback puts on a better show. It'll be a chance for Trevor Lawrence to quiet some of the critics and an opportunity for Zach Wilson to prove that he was deserving of the top spot. Why did the NFL pencil in this matchup so late in the season?
Urban vs Bill
Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick are close friends off the field. On it, they're two of the most brilliant minds in the game today. Bill is a defensive mastermind that's seemingly able to adjust his scheme and find success on a weekly basis. Meyer has yet to be tested on an NFL field, but his brand of speed on offense has been successful at every stop to this point in his career. Who will emerge victorious?
The Jaguars have three home games (at TIAA Bank Field) between 9/19 and 10/10. Those will be HOT and will once again raise the question: when are the Jaguars going to add some shade to their stadium? Until they do, there will continue to be plenty of fans seeking medical attention in the early portion of the season. Fortunately (?), the fifth home game of the season will be in London, where fans won't need to worry about the heat.
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