Cardinals vs. Jaguars: 4 things to know about Week 3’s game

The Cardinals’ offense is red-hot and Jags fans are rightfully not looking forward to Sunday. However, if the Jags can figure out their offensive issues, they may can make it interesting. (Keyword: ‘may’)

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a tough one this week as they take on the Arizona Cardinals for their second consecutive home game at TIAA Bank Field. In fact, the argument could be made that no team is hotter than their Week 3 foes, who stand in the way of the team going 0-3.

The Cardinals will make a trip to North Florida with a 2-0 record and an offense that has yet to be stopped under quarterback Kyler Murray. As a result, the Jags have been deemed home underdogs by Vegas, and many believe they are headed into a game that will be extremely challenging.

Here are some other things to know heading into Sunday’s game as the Cardiac Cats try and get their first win:

Behind Enemy Lines: Week 2 Q&A with Broncos Wire

With the Jags and Broncos set to battle in a few days, we sat down with @ByJonHeath of @TheBroncosWire to discuss Teddy Bridgewater and company.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will enter their regular season home opener in need of a win after unexpectedly falling to the Houston Texans Week 1. That won’t be an easy task as they will face a Denver Broncos team that has even more talent than the one they faced Week 1.

The Broncos will have some momentum by their side after a 27-13 win over the New York Giants in Denver, a game where they showed they can get after it on defense and are a bit more experienced at the quarterback position than they previously were in 2020. However, to get a little more intel on them we spoke with Broncos Wire editor Jon Heath, who particularly discussed the receivers corps, some other players who Jags fans may not be as familiar with, and more.

Here is what he had to say about Vic Fangio’s group as they are a few days away from their first regular season away game.

Jaguars vs. Texans 2021 live stream: Time, TV schedule, how to watch online

With the Jags set to take the field for their regular season opener soon, here is how those of you at home can watch the action.

With a change taking place in terms of naming a head coach, the draft, and preseason all in the rear-view mirror, the moment Jacksonville Jaguars fans have all been waiting for is almost here. In about 13 more hours, the Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence era will begin at NRG Stadium as the team will take on their division rivals in the Houston Texans.

While the Jags will be among the NFL’s youngest teams, they have been viewed as the favorites for this game by most. The reason for that is because the Texans organization is significantly less talented than the ones of recent history.

Gone will be the Texans’ long-time leader in J.J. Watt when they take the field Sunday, while their offensive leader, Deshaun Watson, will be on the roster with no intentions to ever suit up for them again. Instead, starting for them will be journeyman veteran Tyrod Taylor, who is 1-0 against the Jags as a regular season starter (0-1 against them in the playoffs).

The Jags, on the other hand, should be further along into their rebuilding process after landing a player who most believes is the best prospect since Andrew Luck in Lawrence. With him taking the field Sunday, fans may be somewhat reminded of the Jags and Texans Week 1 game in 2017, which was the first time Watson, who was a rookie then, played in a regular season game.

While Lawrence will be taking the field for his first game, there will also be a lot of change on the defensive side. Not only will the personnel on the field be drastically different, but so will the schemes. The Jags will be led by first-time coordinator Joe Cullen on their end, while the Texans will be guided by a former NFL head coach in Lovie Smith. And while many eyes will be on the Jags’ offense and Lawrence, the defensive end will be an important key as well if the Jags are to win because they will need to make drastic strides from the unit they once were in 2020.

With a lot of anticipation built up from the fans of the Jags, Sunday’s game should be an exciting one, and here is how those of you at home can watch the action on television.

When: Sunday, Sep. 12 at 1 p.m. EDT

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Watch: CBS 47 (locally)

Listen: WJXL AM 1010 / FM 92.5 (locally), Sirius XM Radio (feed channel 385 for Jags, 230 for Texans)

Live Stream: fuboTV (try it free)

Behind Enemy Lines: Week 1 Q&A with Texans Wire

Just like the Jags, the Texans made a variety of changes this offseason and to help fans familiarize themselves with their new group, we went behind enemy lines with the Texans Wire.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans were two of the worst teams in football last season, and as a result, both kicked off a rebuild this offseason. Now, after major changes to their coaching staffs and behind center, both teams will open the season against each other.

To help our readers familiarize themselves with the new-look Texans, we sat down with Texans Wire’s Mark Lane for some insight. Here are some questions he was able to answer for us about new coach David Culley, former Jags receiver Chris Conley, and more.

Jaguars 2021 schedule: Game-by-game win-loss predictions

With the first regular season game of the 2021 NFL season set to take place tonight, here is how we see the Jags’ season going for Urban Meyer and Co.

The time has come for the NFL to start their 2021 season as the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Bucs will take the field for the first regular season game of Week 1. As for Urban Meyer, Trevor Lawrence, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, their season will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. EST at NRG Stadium as they take on the Texans.

At this point, the web has been flooded with predictions for the Jags as the draft and training camp are behind them. However, on this end, we waited until Game 1 of the NFL season to factor in all of our offseason assessments and come up with our best guess as to what kind of season the Jags will have.

When looking at it from a week-to-week basis, here is how we see the Jags’ season going.

Jags will have all 3 of their preseason games nationally televised live

All of the Jags’ preseason games will air live on national television in 2021.

The NFL Network announced that they will be airing a record amount of 23 preseason games this season. Luckily for Jacksonville Jaguars fans, that will include their preseason games for Week 1 vs. the Cleveland Browns and Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys. With their Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints already set to be on ESPN, that means the Jags will have three games that are aired live nationally.

Their preseason Week 1 matchup (against Cleveland) will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. EST. It will be their only home game of the preseason.

Their Week 2 preseason game will take place on Monday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. EST. Earlier today, a report surfaced stating that the Jags would also do joint practices with New Orleans on Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 (the Friday and Saturday before the game), but that wasn’t accurate as the NFL may have had communication issues on the matter.

Lastly, the Jags will travel to Dallas for a game that is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Like the Jags, they are also one of the more interesting teams to watch in the preseason as they are set to be on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

As fans are aware, the Jags drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall in April, and  thanks to NFL Network (and ESPN), there won’t be a shortage of opportunities for fans to see him. This preseason will also mark Urban Meyer’s first experience in the NFL, as the collegiate level is the highest he’s coached up until now.

Halloween kicks off a scary stretch of games for the Jaguars

The Jaguars have a brutal stretch of four games that begins on Halloween against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2021 schedule isn’t particularly difficult, all in all. According to opponent win percentage from 2020, it ranks just 18th in the league in terms of difficulty. But with that being said, there’s a fairly colossal set of games that begins on Halloween when the team travels to the west coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks.

According to NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund, it’s the most difficult four-game stretch the Jaguars have all year. The game against Seattle on the road is actually the one the team has the best chance in, per Frelund’s numbers. She has the Jags at a 47.8% chance to win that game.

The next week, the team returns home to take on a Buffalo Bills team that is coming off an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. After that, the Jags have a road matchup against the rival Indianapolis Colts and finally, a home bout against the San Francisco 49ers. Per Frelund, the Jaguars’ chances of winning each of those games sit at about 45%.

The back end of the schedule is a bit less intimidating, though it does still feature road games against Tennessee and the Los Angeles Rams back-to-back weeks. By Halloween, we should have a good idea whether Jacksonville will be competitive in the AFC South or doomed to another early draft pick. But by the end of the stretch following it, there will be no doubt.

Jaguars have the 18th most difficult schedule in 2021

Jacksonville won’t have a particularly difficult schedule in 2021 for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to navigate through.

Jacksonville certainly has an uphill climb to get back into position to compete for a playoff spot. Coming off an 1-15 season that saw the team land the first overall pick, the Jags will need Trevor Lawrence to have a similar effect to the one Andrew Luck had on the Indianapolis Colts when he took them to the playoffs as a rookie.

Luckily for the Jaguars, they won’t have to face a particularly difficult schedule to do it. Based on the final 2020 standings, Jacksonville’s schedule ranks just 18th in the NFL in terms of difficulty. It was a big winner from the league’s decision to expand to 17 regular-season games, as that dropped its strength-of-schedule seven spots from 11th.

In addition to their usual divisional opponents, the Jaguars face every team in the NFC West and AFC East, and they also have matchups against the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. Their average opponent win percentage from last season is .491.

Though this is just a projection and there’s no way to know how difficult Jacksonville’s schedule will end up being, it seems like it could be conducive to a major step forward for the team in 2021.

Report: Jaguars would draw Falcons if NFL adds 17th game in 2021

Should the NFL exercise its option to expand the regular season to 17 games in 2021, Jacksonville would likely draw the Falcons at home.

The NFL has discussed adding a 17th game to the regular season for several years now, and it seems that 2021 may be the year that it finally happens.

According to Peter King of Football Morning in America, a 17-game schedule is “highly likely” in 2021, with the NFL and television coordinators operating under the assumption that it will happen. The collective bargaining agreement the players approved last year gave the league the option to expand to 17 games in 2021.

King says that if enacted, the 17th game will be a cross-conference matchup with the division the team faced two years before, in this case during the 2019 season. The opponent is the corresponding team in the other division’s standings from the previous season.

This format is slightly confusing, but since the Jaguars played the NFC South as its interconference division in 2019, they would face the team in that division that finished last during the 2020 season. This would mean the extra game would draw the Atlanta Falcons.

According to King’s report, the AFC would host all the interconference games in 2021, with that set to flip in 2022. This would mean the Jags would host the Falcons, who are an NFC rival of theirs, at TIAA Bank Field.

The Jags and the Falcons typically meet in the preseason, however, a two-game preseason is now in play with the regular season being altered. As for the regular season, the two teams have played each other seven times and the Falcons lead the series with a 4-3 record.

None of this is official yet, but it seems NFL squads could be playing an extra out-of-conference matchup each season from now on.

Jags’ 2021 strength of schedule ranks in the top half of the NFL

The Jags only won one game in 2020, but things are slated to get tougher in 2021.

Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ strength of schedule ranked 22nd, and yet, they only were able to register a single win. However, things are projected to get significantly tougher in 2021 for the new regime which is currently being constructed. 

Our comrade Allison Koehler of Steelers Wire recently calculated the strength of schedule for all 32 teams, and the Jags’ 2021 opponents registered a .506 win percentage (129-126-1). That figure gave them a strength of schedule that ranks 11th in the NFL.

When looking at the AFC South as a whole, only one of the Jags’ divisional rivals had a harder strength of schedule, and that was the Houston Texans, who were ranked one spot higher (No. 10) with their opponents being 132-124-0 (.516). Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans (126-130-0, .492) were tied at No. 19 with the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Indianapolis Colts (118-136-2, .465) were tied at No. 28 with the New York Giants.

The Jags registering a tougher SOS figure isn’t the slightest bit surprising when considering they play the NFC West and AFC East in 2021. The NFC West sent two teams into the playoffs (Rams and Seahawks) while the 8-8 Arizona Cardinals were close to a postseason berth. The San Francisco 49ers could’ve been in the mix, too, had they not been hit hard by injuries.

As for the AFC East, they almost sent two teams to the postseason. The division winner, the Buffalo Bills, have made it to the conference championship today and could end up playing in the Super Bowl with a win against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Miami Dolphins, who defeated the Jags in 2020, registered a 10-6 record but just missed the postseason.

Clearly, we’re in the early stages of the offseason, which means it’s simply hard to come up with a prediction for the Jags record-wise. However, what is clear is that they could have a tough road ahead if they don’t make significant improvements to the roster this offseason.