The Jacksonville Jaguars are good at football. It feels weird to type, but the Jags went from being the AFC’s doormat to the penthouse in 2017. Jacksonville was a surprise AFC finalist before losing to the New England Patriots in a 24-20 thriller. It was the first time the franchise had made the playoffs in a decade, but the Jags now enter 2018 with high expectations.
They return much of the defense that ranked as the best in football. Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA metric gave their secondary one of the best grades it has ever handed out, and the Jags ranked No. 1 overall despite some shakiness with the run. Jacksonville is also continuing the Blake Bortles experiment and added Donte Moncrief to offset the losses of Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson.
Here is a look at the complete schedule for the Jaguars in the 2018 regular season, per NFL.com.
Jaguars’ 2018 Schedule
Week 1: at Giants on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Week 2: vs. Patriots on Sept. 16 at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 3: vs. Titans on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 4: vs. Jets on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Week 5: at Chiefs on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 6: at Cowboys on Oct. 14 at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 7: vs. Texans on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 8: vs. Eagles on Oct. 28 at 9:30 a.m. ET on NFL Network
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: at Colts on Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 11: vs. Steelers on Nov. 18 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Week 12: at Bills on Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 13: vs. Colts on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 14: at Titans on Dec. 6 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox/NFL Network
Week 15: vs. Redskins on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Week 16: at Dolphins on Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Week 17: at Texans on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
A tradition like any other … it’s the Times-Union’s annual Jaguars schedule guess.
Sept. 9 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
The Jaguars are not a big enough ratings draw to get a Week 1 prime-time slot, but the NFL does like playoff rematches. The Jaguars beat Buffalo in last year’s wild card round and coach Doug Marrone returns to the home of his first pro head-coaching post.
Sept. 17 (Monday) vs. New England, 8:30 p.m.
This one makes too much sense – it was the first game I put in place. The NFL gets the Jaguars on primetime via ESPN, pits them against a marquee opponent (Tom and Co.) and creates a conference title game rematch. Plus, one less home game in the heat is a plus for the fans.
Sept. 23 at Houston, 1 p.m.
A short work week followed by a division road game is a tough ask. The Jaguars saw Deshaun Watson for a half in last year’s opener. The Jaguars’ road to the AFC South title started with a thumping win at Houston last year.
Sept. 30 vs. Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Will it be Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett at quarterback for the Colts? Luck has shown no reason to bet on it being him. It will be interesting to see how many rookies are starting for revamped Indianapolis.
Oct. 7 at Miami, 1 p.m.
The Jaguars play at the Dolphins for the first time in six years. Jaguars fans should make this their Road Game Takeover.
Oct. 14 vs. Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.
CBS wasn’t able to keep the Patriots-Jaguars game, but they get this Divisional Round playoff rematch. The Jaguars won both meetings last year in Pittsburgh.
Oct. 21 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
The Titans beat the Jaguars twice last year. Enough said. The Florida-Georgia game is Oct. 27 so the Jaguars don’t play at home the week before because of construction to put in the extra seats.
Oct. 28 vs. Philadelphia (London), 9:30 a.m.
The Eagles-Jaguars game will be either Oct. 21 or 28. It will be the Jaguars’ sixth trip to London and the Eagles’ first. The Jaguars have taken advantage of that travel experience the last three years, jumping on Buffalo, Indianapolis and Baltimore in the first half.
Nov. 4 Open
Nov. 11 at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.
Two games in five days coming off the bye for the Jaguars. An easy storyline this week will be Jaguars football boss Tom Coughlin taking the team he built to face the franchise with whom he won two Super Bowls.
Nov. 15 (Thursday) vs. Houston, 8:25 p.m.
The Jaguars are back on the Thursday night schedule for the first time in two years. We all remember the last time, getting routed at Tennessee.
Nov. 25 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
The second and final game of the Jaguars’ “first place schedule,” part of their slate. (The first is Pittsburgh). In the last Jaguars-Chiefs game (November 2016), it was Nick Foles at quarterback for Kansas City and Nathaniel Hackett was making his play-calling debut with the Jaguars.
Dec. 2 at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
The Jaguars face Allen Hurns, who signed with the Cowboys last month. Last year the Jaguars started the month of December with a three-game win streak. A second appearance as the CBS late-afternoon showcase game.
Dec. 9 vs. N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
The Jaguars went 3-0 at home last December. And they probably feel like last year’s game against the Jets (overtime loss in the Swamp) is a game they should have won.
Dec. 16 vs. Washington, 1 p.m.
The Jaguars haven’t faced Alex Smith since his Kansas City debut in 2013 – the only 28-2 game in NFL history (won by the Chiefs).
Dec. 23 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
I’ll ask this again: Will we see Andrew Luck for this game?
Dec. 30 vs. Tennessee, 1 p.m.
The Jags went 4-2 in the division last year, and if they can match that or even improve it, they’re a favorite to repeat. The defense will again be the best in football and put them in a position to win every game.
All of this mostly comes down to the progress of Bortles, who remains a major question mark going forward. The Jags gave him a new contract this offseason, ostensibly locking him in as their starter for the next two years.