The Jacksonville Jaguars are solidly a team that is a work in progress. They are going into the 2021 season with a new head coach, a new quarterback, and a new outlook on the future of the franchise. However, as much as that is worth, it doesn’t always translate to winning right out of the gate.
New coach Urban Meyer may have all the success in the world at the collegiate level, but the NFL has forced some of the best college coaches in the business to burn out in just a year or two. It isn’t as though Meyer is off to the smoothest of starts either. A similar sentiment goes for Trevor Lawrence. Young, talented quarterbacks can get chewed up and spit out by the league in a blink of an eye.
With all that in mind, let’s dive into the 2021 Jacksonville Jaguars schedule!
2021 Jacksonville Jaguars Schedule: First Half
Week One | 09/12/21 | @ Houston Texans
As much of a mess as the Jaguars have been in the last few seasons, they don’t compare to the train wreck that is the 2021 Houston Texans. The team had few draft picks and a major roster turnover this spring and summer. To make matters worse, as of now, they are without Deshaun Watson indefinitely, leaving their entire team devoid of talent. I don’t expect much out of the Jags, but I expect even less out of the Texans.
Prediction: Jaguars win 24-7
Week Two | 09/29/21 | VS Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos find themselves in an interesting situation. As a whole, their team is in a great place. They have a solid head coach, a good defense, and great young skill position players. However, their biggest question mark is at quarterback. The team will likely have a quarterback competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater (sorry Brett Rypien) and all the team really needs is decent quarterback play to be successful.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 28-13
Week Three | 09/26/21 | VS Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are another team that looks ready to compete for a playoff spot, and they got better this offseason. They added to their pass rush with J.J. Watt, but their biggest area of improvement is on the other side of the ball. James Conner, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore are all joining an already high-powered offense led by Kyler Murray. The Jaguars’ secondary is good, but young and will have its hands full with this group.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 35-14
Week Four | 09/30/21 | @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals play in Cincinnati on a short week, giving both teams only four days to prepare. The Bengals are one step ahead of the Jaguars in their long-term rebuild, as young quarterback Joe Burrow has some NFL experience under his belt. That said, the Jaguars’ defense inspires more confidence in me. They should be able to create pressure on Burrow enough to get under his skin and force enough mistakes for a slim victory.
Prediction: Jaguars win 28-24
Week Five | 10/10/21 | VS Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans visit Jacksonville for their first matchup of the season. The Titans are an interesting case study for today’s NFL. They have a strong offense, run almost solely through play-action passing and a hard-nosed run game. On the other hand, even after a bit of a revamp this offseason, they have a struggling defense. Yet somehow, they stay competitive year in and year out. I expect the offensive combo of Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown to be too much for the Jags again in a close match like last season’s first meeting.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 33-28
Week Six | 10/17/21 | Miami Dolphins (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London)
Many are expecting the Miami Dolphins to take a step back from last season as relatively untested quarterback Tua Tagovailoa officially has the reigns. However, the Dolphins have done a good job building a strong squad around him. Their defense, especially their secondary, should be dominant. In this year’s offseason, the Phins also put some building blocks on offense with Tua, namely a new offensive tackle, Liam Eichenberg, former teammate Jaylen Waddle, and Houston castoff Will Fuller V. If the Jaguars are a step behind the Bengals in their rebuild, they’re at least two behind the Dolphins.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 24-14
Week Seven | Bye
Week Eight | 10/31/21 | @ Seattle Seahawks
Much of the talk around the Seattle Seahawks this offseason centered around who else, but quarterback Russell Wilson. He reportedly requested a trade, but maybe he didn’t, maybe he just hinted that he wanted some more help from his offensive line. Whatever the case may be, he has at least a little more help this season. The Seahawks traded for Gabe Jackson from Las Vegas, a veteran guard. If Wilson has a little more time to let his deadly wideout trio of Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and D’Wayne Eskridge gel and run routes, the Seahawks could be a dangerous team.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 35-21
Week Nine | 11/07/21 | VS Buffalo Bills
The deeper I look into the Jacksonville Jaguars schedule, the more I realize just how difficult this slate is. The Buffalo Bills were arguably the best team in the AFC last season and it looks like they’ve just gotten better. Their already packed defense added one of the best pass rushers in the 2021 draft, and the offense added veteran presences in Matt Breida and Emmanuel Sanders. This Bills team just needs quarterback Josh Allen to have a repeat performance, and they should shred just about any defense in the league.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 42-14
2021 Jacksonville Jaguar Schedule: Second Half
Week Ten | 11/14/21 | @ Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a hard team to predict. They upgraded their defense with a pair of stud edge rushers in the draft, but seemingly neglected to address some of their offensive deficiencies. Carson Wentz is the new starting quarterback, and it is yet to be seen whether he will bounce back or not. The other skill positions are bigger areas of need. The Colts have some young talent, but it isn’t blue-chip nor is the pool deep.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 24-21
Week 11 | 11/21/21 | VS San Francisco 49ers
At this point in the season, the San Francisco 49ers will likely be starting their rookie quarterback, Trey Lance. Even though he was dominant in limited game time at North Dakota State, he hasn’t faced the amount of talent that comes at you in an NFL defense. The Niners have a solid offensive line, but they lack the weapons to cover up for some of the rookie mistakes you’ll see out of Lance.
Prediction: Jaguars win 20-14
Week 12 | 11/28/21 | VS Atlanta Falcons
I am a believer in Arthur Smith and his system. With the Falcons, he’s getting much better offensive talent as opposed to the Titans. But for as much offensive punch as the Atlanta Falcons have, their defense is still an absolute dumpster fire. They look like they might be able to rush the quarterback effectively, but that’s still a pretty big if. The Jaguars should be rolling off of a win into this week and pick up a second straight.
Prediction: Jaguars win 35-28
Week 13 | 12/05/21 | @ LA Rams
Sadly, the winning ways in Jacksonville stop with the Jaguars’ trip out west to SoFi Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams hope they found their winning quarterback in the incredibly talented Matthew Stafford. They already had the requisite defense, now they look to finally have a quarterback who can stretch the field. Don’t expect this to be much of a match at mid-season.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 21-7
Week 14 | 12/12/21 | @ Tennessee Titans
Somehow, in years past, the Titans’ running game got better as the year went on last year. Barring injury, Derrick Henry will ball out against the Jaguars for the second season in a row. Last year, Henry ran for nearly 300 yards between the two games against the Jags. It’s hard to slow down a runaway freight train.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 35-21
Week 15 | 12/19/21 | VS Houston Texans
Even if the Texans get Watson back in the middle of the season (which I highly doubt for more than one reason), the team just isn’t in a good spot. The Jaguars will be ready to rebound after another double-digit loss on the season, and the Texans are the perfect team to do that against.
Prediction: Jaguars win 31-10
Week 16 | 12/26/21 | @ New York Jets
The Jaguars travel to New Jersey to take on the Jets on the day after Christmas. This is the first meeting between the first and second overall picks in the 2021 draft. No matter how the two are projected to play this coming season, the Jets have a more well-rounded squad, especially after their additions this offseason. This game should be tight to the end, but it’s hard to see the Jags taking it.
Prediction: Jaguars lose 24-21
Week 17 | 01/02/22 | @ New England Patriots
Even with all of their major moves made in free agency and the draft, the New England Patriots are yet to address the biggest piece of the puzzle: quarterback. Mac Jones isn’t NFL-ready, and Cam Newton will need a huge rebound to help the Patriots win now. The Jaguars have had an up and down season to this point, and this is going to be another up for Meyer and Co.
Prediction: Jaguars win 28-17
Week 18 | 01/09/22 | VS Indianapolis Colts
Following their big win against the Patriots, the Jaguars should be riding high into their last game of the season. After losing a close game in Indy, the Jaguars should be ready to take down the Colts to end the season. They started the 2020 season with a win against the Colts, and they end the 2021 season in a similar fashion.
Prediction: Jaguars win 27-20
These predictions put the Jaguars finishing the season 7-10. While that may seem like too many wins, a lot changes with a franchise once the next star quarterback comes to town. Even though there is a ton of uncertainty surrounding this team, I think they are ready to take a step forward. They shouldn’t be the laughing stock of the NFL anymore. This is a young and talented Jaguars team with a tough schedule ahead of them. Some time is needed for them to truly compete, but 2021 should be a good stepping stone.