Jags Will Be Tested Early

The NFL schedule is out and the Jaguars will be challenged right from the start.

The Jaguars open against the Colts at Lucas Oil Field (September 13th), where Jacksonville has never lost (in one meeting) before heading back home to take on the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals (September 20th). Jacksonville will then travel to Houston to take on the upstart Texans (September 27th), then return home for a meeting with the reigning AFC South champion Tennessee Titans (October 4th).

If the Jaguars don't play well early, they could be buried early on like last year's Houston Texans. They must win at least one out of their first four games.

The schedule eases up just a bit for Jacksonville as they travel to the great Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks (October 11th), before returning home for a game against the St. Louis Rams (October 18th). The team will get a chance to rest as their bye week is at week seven for the second consecutive year. Jacksonville will hit the road once again to conclude their season series with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville (November 1st). The Jaguars then return home for a clash with the Kansas City Chiefs on November 8th.

The Jaguars must win at least two of these games, and if they're going to be playoff contenders they likely must win three out of four.

In the third quarter of the season, the Jaguars head to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets (November 15th) in a possible inclement weather game. Get your popcorn ready because your Jaguars then return home on November 22nd to take on Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills (assuming he's still on the team). The team then makes its second west coast trip as they fly to San Francisco to match up with Mike Singletary's 49ers (November 29th). The Jaguars then return back home to the friendly confines of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to match up with division rival Houston (December 6th), in a must-win game.

Once again the Jaguars are going to have to at least split to stay in any kind of playoff contention.

The Jaguars conclude the last quarter of the season with a home game against the in-state rival Miami Dolphins (December 13th), before making their only prime time appearance on the NFL Network against the Indianapolis Colts on December 17th. Jacksonville then travels back up north in what will likely be a cold-weather game against the New England Patriots on December 27th. The Jaguars conclude their season on the road again at Cleveland on January 3rd.

December may be the toughest month of the season, as the Jaguars take on two playoff opponents in Miami and Indianapolis, and then travel up north for cold-weather games. Wins will be at a premium in this month, as they will likely be all season long.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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