Jacksonville Jaguars schedule and predictions takeaways:
- The Jaguars face the Houston Texans in Week 1 of the NFL season.
- Their Week 7 bye is set between a London matchup against the Miami Dolphins and a road game against the Seattle Seahawks (Oct. 17 and Oct. 31).
- Sportsnaut predicts the Jaguars will end the season with a 9-8 record.
The Jacksonville Jaguars became far more relevant when they drafted Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, but with a strong haul of free agents and other rookies joining the roster with new coach Urban Meyer at the helm, how soon can the Jags truly be competitive?
Lawrence has been widely cited as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Remember what happened when he landed in Indianapolis: The Colts went from 1-15 to the playoffs.
Given Meyer’s track record of instant turnarounds and Lawrence’s phenomenal talent, perhaps Jacksonville has something similar in store in a wide-open AFC South division.
Let’s examine the Jaguars’ 2021 schedule and see how they might have a path to at least being in the mix for the postseason.
Jacksonville Jaguars schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Jaguars roster outlook
All our predictions are based on the Jaguars keeping and starting these key players:
- QB – Trevor Lawrence (rookie)
- RB – Travis Etienne (rookie), James Robinson
- WR – D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., Marvin Jones
- TE – Luke Farrell, James O’Shaughnessy, Chris Manhertz, Tim Tebow
- Defense – Jaguars not ranked in top 20 this week
The gimmicky signing of Tim Tebow may or may not pan out, but regardless of that, rookie first-round tailback Travis Etienne is taking snaps at receiver in a bid to play a hybrid role in the Jaguars’ offense. As long as Lawrence lives up to the hype, Jacksonville should be able to put quite a lot of points on the board this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 preseason schedule
|Saturday, Aug. 14||vs. Cleveland Browns||7:00 PM||TBD|
|Monday, Aug. 23||@ New Orleans Saints||8:00 PM||ESPN|
|Sunday, Aug. 29||@ Dallas Cowboys||1:00 PM||TBD|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 – @ Houston Texans
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
- Spread: Jaguars -2.5 (via DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Jaguars -148; Texans +123
- Over/Under: 45.5
Simply put, the Texans are a disaster. Their projected QB depth chart is bad, and their deepest position group, running back, won’t help matters. They’re all kinds of backwards and dysfunctional. Houston is going to have all kinds of trouble generating momentum when it loses Week 1 to the team that just had the No. 1 overall pick.
- Week 1 prediction: Jaguars 35, Texans 23
Week 2 – vs. Denver Broncos
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
This one really depends on whether Denver can find an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock at quarterback. Presuming the Broncos don’t, it feels OK to give the Jaguars the nod here in a nail-biter.
- Week 2 prediction: Jaguars 27, Broncos 26
Week 3 – vs. Arizona Cardinals
|Sunday, Sept. 26||1:00 PM||FOX|
Myles Jack can help hold Kyler Murray‘s rushing ability in check, but that’d leave Jacksonville exposed in coverage. Arizona has too many weapons on the edge as well, between Chandler Jones, J.J. Watt, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins. The Cardinals’ personnel just happens to match up really well against the Jags.
- Week 3 prediction: Cardinals 35, Jaguars 17
Week 4 – @ Cincinnati Bengals (TNF)
|Thursday, Sept. 30||8:20 PM||NFLN|
Should be a fascinating battle duel between Lawrence and Joe Burrow, but frankly, it’s more realistic to expect the Jaguars’ younger defense to step up than Cincinnati’s dreadful front seven. Jacksonville should be able to play keep-away, and the Bengals’ poor home turnout will only work to the visitors’ advantage.
- Week 4 prediction: Jaguars 31, Bengals 28
Week 5 – vs. Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||CBS|
Both duels between these divisional foes should be high-scoring, and it feels like a split is coming, because the departure of Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is at least going to have some negative effect. Plus, Tennessee’s defense didn’t improve that much this offseason. The exciting trade for Julio Jones doesn’t make the Titans better on the side of the ball they most desperately need to improve.
- Week 5 prediction: Jaguars 37, Titans 31
Week 6 – vs. Miami Dolphins (London)
|Sunday, Oct. 17||9:30 AM||NFLN|
Tua Tagovailoa looked shaky as a 2020 rookie, to the point where it already feels safe to project Lawrence as the far superior quarterback. That’s bad news for Miami, who otherwise has a championship-caliber roster for the most part, especially on defense.
- Week 6 prediction: Jaguars 23, Dolphins 20
WEEK 7 BYE
Week 8 – @ Seattle Seahawks
|Sunday, Oct. 31||4:05 PM||CBS|
It’ll be fascinating to see how the Russell Wilson saga plays out in Seattle and the impact it might have on the locker room. This should be closer than expected, yet if enough 12th Man fans are packing the Seahawks’ stadium, that’ll probably be too much for the young Jags to overcome.
- Week 8 prediction: Seahawks 26, Jaguars 17
Week 9 – vs. Buffalo Bills
|Sunday, Nov. 7||1:00 PM||CBS|
Two players named Josh Allen in this contest, but the Bills have the better, more valuable one at quarterback. Allen should dismantle the Jaguars, and a seasoned defensive coach in Sean McDermott will scheme up too many exotic looks for Jacksonville’s offense to keep pace in a shootout.
- Week 9 prediction: Bills 50, Jaguars 24
Week 10 – @ Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1:00 PM||CBS|
Playing at Lucas Oil Stadium isn’t easy, but since the Colts have a total wild card at QB in Carson Wentz and no clear answer at left tackle, Jacksonville should keep this one surprisingly competitive. In the end, home-field advantage helps Indy edge it out.
- Week 10 prediction: Colts 27, Jaguars 24
Week 11 – vs. San Francisco 49ers
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||FOX|
That San Francisco running game is liable to overwhelm Jacksonville. Even with Malcom Brown providing a huge upgrade on the interior defensive line, once the 49ers backs get to the second level, they should be able to run all over the Jaguars.
- Week 11 prediction: 49ers 45, Jaguars 24
Week 12 – vs. Atlanta Falcons
|Sunday, Nov. 28||1:00 PM||CBS|
Notorious for blowing big leads, Atlanta has a long way to go to exorcise those demons. Kyle Pitts will help the offense, but the Falcons’ defense still leaves much to be desired. Lawrence should carve them up and catalyze a comeback win.
- Week 12 prediction: Jaguars 42, Falcons 38
Week 13 – @ Los Angeles Rams
|Sunday, Dec. 5||4:25 PM||CBS|
The Rams represent what the Jaguars probably aspire to be in some form or fashion. Tons of speed, perimeter playmakers on offense and defense, and an explosive quarterback talent. Matthew Stafford should feast on the Jaguars secondary with the weapons at his disposal in LA.
- Week 13 prediction: Rams 41, Jaguars 20
Week 14 – @ Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
Don’t be surprised when the reigning division champs get pushed to the limit in Nashville. However, given the running prowess of Derrick Henry, stellar play under center from Ryan Tannehill and Julio Jones in the mix, it’s difficult to envision a scenario where Jacksonville escapes with a road win.
- Week 14 prediction: Titans 38, Jaguars 37
Week 15 – vs. Houston Texans
|Sunday, Dec. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
Houston had far less cap space and draft capital to play with this offseason than the Jaguars, and now is dealing with a Deshaun Watson scandal that has no end in sight. Not a great combo. It could lead to a winless Texans season.
- Week 15 prediction: Jaguars 41, Texans 24
Week 16 – @ New York Jets
|Sunday, Dec. 26||1:00 PM||CBS|
The battle of top picks! Zach Wilson leads the Jets, who’ve definitely bolstered their offense, yet have neglected many key areas on defense. Look for Lawrence to give Jacksonville the slight edge here, as the Jags should also be able to run the ball at will with James Robinson and Travis Etienne.
- Week 16 prediction: Jaguars 28, Jets 24
Week 17 – @ New England Patriots
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||CBS|
Young QBs historically don’t fare well at all against Bill Belichick. Although the Patriots’ offense isn’t going to scare anyone too much, if you’re a Jaguars fan, don’t expect Lawrence to waltz into Foxborough as a rookie and outfox The Hoodie.
- Week 17 prediction: Patriots 30, Jaguars 16
Week 18 – vs. Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||CBS|
It’s not a stretch to picture Jacksonville pass-rusher Josh Allen teeing off on Wentz, along with 2020 first-round pick K’Lavon Chaisson. If that young duo can knock the Colts signal-caller off his spot, Indianapolis will have its hands full as Lawrence and Co. play ball control and feed off the energy of their home crowd.
- Week 18 prediction: Jaguars 34, Colts 23