The Jacksonville Jaguars actually have 4 prime-time games in 2011. The first of those is the meaningless pre-season match-up with the Atlanta Falcons at Everbank Field this Friday. Let’s take a quick look at these prime-time events and what we have to look forward to.
Atlanta @ Jacksonville, 8:00 PM, Friday August 19, FOX
The Jaguars play their second exhibition game against the Falcons. The biggest story line going into the game should be Blaine Gabbert vs. David Garrard, once again. We shouldn’t overlook other key positions. Austen Lane is looking for a rebound from a very, very quiet night against New England. The defense is looking for redemption after being torched all night against the Patriots’ backup quarterbacks. Scotty McGee needs to shine for the Jaguars to hope for a roster spot, and the Jaguars receivers need to pull the H out of their A. There’s all that to look for and a lot more. Should be a bonanza for any analytical Jaguars fan.
Baltimore @ Jacksonville, 8:30 PM, Monday October 24, ESPN
This week 7 match-up could be a big one, because of it’s wild-card implications. Most people agree that the Jaguars’ best hope of getting into the playoffs is by winning their division, and let me say that I agree with that as well, but there are other ways into the post-season. The Jaguars play the Jets (week 2) and the Ravens. I expect both those teams to be the leading contenders for the two AFC wild-card spots. If the Jaguars could pull an upset in one or both of those games, they would put themselves in pretty good position to snag a wild-card spot.
San Diego @ Jacksonville, 8:30 PM, Monday December 5, ESPN
To be perfectly honest, this could be the toughest game of the year for the Jaguars. It’s also the first game the Jags play in December, and as we all know, the Jaguars aren’t good in December. There’s a decent chance the Jaguars will be about 6-5 going into the game, so; it’ll be make or break time for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville vs. Atlanta, 8:20 PM, Thursday December 15, NFLN
This game is the Jaguars 3rd to last game. It’ll have virtually no tiebreaker implications, but it could be a game that the Jaguars could shine in. If the Jaguars could pull off a win here, they may be able to secure a win-and-in situation going into each of the final two games. Let’s face it, the Jaguars could be playing for their playoff lives, or they could be long gone by the time mid-December rolls around. The last couple seasons indicate this is the time they will begin to lose their grasp on a playoff birth. Del Rio’s job will be on the line towards the end of the season, and it’ll be fascinating to see how the team responds.