With training camp in full swing and the preseason upon us, Last Word on Pro Football is breaking down the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. This series will consist of the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-16) games among each team’s 16-game slate. The focus for this article is the eight most difficult games on the 2019 Jacksonville Jaguars schedule.
Jacksonville Jaguars Most Difficult Games of 2019
1. Week Six: vs New Orleans Saints
The Jaguars toughest opponent in the 2019 season will be the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and company were just one blown call away from the Super Bowl last season. They’ll be back for vengeance this year. The Saints are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. The Jags are lucky it will be a home game, but it will still be a big test. How will the linebackers fare against Alvin Kamara when he gets past the defensive line? Will the defense be prepared for Brees?
2. Week 14: vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers have met 10 times. Of those ten meetings, the Jags have only been victorious three times. Unfortunately, they seem to have a problem with West Coast teams. But the good thing is that this will be a home game. Not only do the Chargers have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but they were also a top 10 defense in 2018. Both sides of the ball will need to be on point to be this playoff contender.
3. Week One: vs Kansas City Chiefs
These two teams faced each other last year. But this season, it’s a home game for the Jaguars in Week One. What better way to start the season then a chance to take down last year’s AFC runner-up? The defense will have its hands full with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. However, with any luck, the Jaguars shouldn’t have any interceptions that result from a deflection off of an offensive lineman’s helmet like in last year’s matchup. This game will be an early test.
4. Week 11: at Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a division foe and the Jaguars split games with them last year. I’m projecting that will happen once again this year. The Colts had a strong draft on both sides of the ball in April, but especially on defense. Seven of their 10 draft picks were on that side of the ball. The most intriguing offensive player they took was receiver Parris Campbell. Campbell will be another weapon for Andrew Luck to use. Luck is a potential MVP this year and this away game will be a tough one.
5. Week 12: at Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans have been giving the Jags trouble for a while. Take Derrick Henry for example. In week 13 last season, he ran all over the Jags defense. Henry finished the game with 17 carries for 238 yards and four touchdowns. It was a monster game for him and the Titans as they performed better against the Jags than they do against other teams. On top of all of those factors, this will be a road game for the Jaguars. Will they be able to break the stranglehold the Titans have on them?
6. Week 16: at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons had a rough season last year. However, they were also plagued with injuries. They lost seven starters to injured reserve including cornerback Keanu Neal. The Falcons should fare better than 2018’s 7-9 record this season. With Devonta Freeman healthy and two additions to the offensive line in the first round in April, they could be a formidable opponent as the end of the regular season approaches.
7. Week Two: at Houston Texans
Week Two will be the second week in a row playing a playoff team from 2018. The Houston Texans made the playoffs last year but lost in the first round. You can bet they will be looking to build upon last year’s success with a Week Two home matchup against a team they beat twice last year. This will be a tough matchup for many reasons, not the least of which is the duo of Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. The Jags offensive line will have to work hard to keep Nick Foles upright in an early divisional game.
8. Week Three: vs Tennessee Titans
Yes. Both Titans match ups are among the eight most difficult games for the Jaguars this season. Out of all the AFC South teams, the Titans give the Jags the most trouble. Forget the fact that Marcus Mariota isn’t as impressive as Luck or Deshaun Watson. They have the Jags’ number. This matchup will be a test on Thursday night at home. It’s the only prime time game for Jacksonville this season and you can expect all teal.