The schedule was released April 19 and what has many fans buzzing is a bye week right smack in the middle of the schedule. The Week 9 bye comes in the middle of a three game road trip and in between two key AFC South games, but we will address that shortly.
The real excitement comes in the three primetime games the Jaguars have scheduled, two of which are on Monday night and in Everbank Field. The third is a Thursday Night away game in Atlanta.
Now, not only do the Jaguars have these primetime games, but they also have the first half of the season loaded with playoff caliber teams. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Jacksonville could stumble into the bye with a 4-4 record. But there is a benefit to the stacked first half of the schedule, there is only two games against divisional foes.
If Jacksonville can beat Tennessee and Houston, in weeks 1 and 8 respectively, they can put themselves in the same position as they did last season, with the division title in their control. Following the bye is an away game at Indy; this could be the swing game for their season.
After the Indy game is a three game home stretch, two of which are likely to be victories, which will give the Jaguars momentum for the playoff push.
A few key games to keep an eye on are:
Week 1 vs. Tennessee
Week 7 vs. Baltimore (Monday Night)
Week 8 at Houston
Week 10 at Indianapolis
Week 17 vs. Indianapolis
If Jacksonville can win the above games, they will probably put themselves in position to make the postseason with a 9-7 or 10-6 record.