I know September 9th is still a long ways off, but I think that July is all about looking forward to the beginning of the NFL season. The Jaguars open their 2012 campaign against the Minnesota Vikings, and the way I see it, they couldn’t get a better game to kick off the season.
The Jaguars’ game against the Vikings will tell us a lot about the Jaguars very early on. The Vikings’ offense isn’t the scariest of bunches, and the Jaguars will likely be able to focus their defensive efforts on shutting the Vikings’ running attack down. From there, the Jaguars simply have to hold Christian Ponder down, and if last year is any indication of how difficult that will be, the Jaguars should be in good shape on defense.
The other big reason I’m excited to see the Jaguars face the Vikings right off the bat is due to the potency of the Vikings’ pass rush. They’ll test the Jaguars’ pass protection early and often, and we’ll see how much (or how little for that matter) Blaine Gabbert’s footwork has improved since the conclusion of last season.
The Vikings will test the Jaguars’ weakest unit, the offense, especially in the passing game, but the Vikings shouldn’t be able to put up many points against a very good defense. I’m hoping that the Jaguars can rise to the challenge in a week 1 matchup that could set the tone for their season. September 9th is a long ways off, but I’m already eyeing it on the calender. We’re under 2 months away from the kickoff of the 2012 season. I can’t wait.