Thursday, April 18, 2013
Jacksonville Jaguars schedule analysis
By Paul Kuharsky
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Breakdown: Coach Gus Bradley and the Jaguars’ new regime kick off against the other team that won only two games in 2012 when Kansas City visits Jacksonville on the NFL’s opening Sunday. Like the Jaguars, the Chiefs are under new leadership, headlined by Andy Reid. But he inherited a team with more talent in place, and the Chiefs dealt for veteran quarterback Alex Smith. Although Kansas City earned the top pick in the draft, it’s likely to be favored in this one.
The Jaguars go on the road for back-to-back games three times, and they have a three-game homestand in December. Their Oct. 27 "home" game against the 49ers in London comes after a home game against the Chargers and is followed by a bye week.
Complaint department: I thought two games in 17 days between the Colts and Titans was unreasonable, so the even-faster turnaround for the Jaguars’ games against the Texans is utterly ridiculous. They play Nov. 24 at Reliant Stadium, and then again Dec. 5 at EverBank Field in a Thursday night showcase. Why not just put the games back-to-back?
I’m sure the scheduling puzzle is even more complicated and difficult than I imagine. But the NFL needs to implement a rule that rematches between division opponents must have at least two weeks in between them. It would produce far more intrigue than games played in quick succession where little is likely to change about either team.
Bonding opportunity: After that reasonable opening day home game against the Chiefs, the Jaguars get consecutive games on the West Coast, at Oakland and at Seattle, where Bradley was defensive coordinator before Shad Khan and David Caldwell hired him for the Jaguars' head job.
Back-to-back trips from the Atlantic to the Pacific don’t seem real fair. But I wonder if Bradley and the Jaguars won’t make a move to negate all that travel in a season when they will also play in London. They could do so by finding a place in or near Oakland or Seattle to stay and practice for the week between games. Since the team holds training camp at its facility, the week away would serve as an early season micro-training camp, offering a young team a chance to bond while away from home.
Jaguars Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, at St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, at Denver, 4:05 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, San Diego, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27, San Francisco, 1 p.m.
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, Arizona, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, at Houston, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Thursday, Dec. 5, Houston, 8:25 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.